I COULD BE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE, YET STILL FEEL ENTIRELY ALONE
For most of my life, I never felt like I belonged.
I was always involved in team sports, group extra-curriculars, had friends, family, teammates, co-workers…
And yet, I always felt APART from them.
I could be surrounded by people, yet still feel entirely alone.
I felt like I was always on the outside looking in, even when I WAS IN.
I was living in a lonely, lonely existence. (Looking at me you’d probably never have known). I just thought there was something fundamentally different about me.
That I was just not MADE to belong.
That everyone else had some sort of THING inside of them that made them connect to other people… and that THING was missing in me.
I felt this deep, aching hollowness; an emptiness.
When my brother (teasingly) told me in elementary school that I’d been adopted, I felt a RELIEF for MONTHS. I didn’t believe my mom when she told me it wasn’t true – I wanted to believe it was true, because if it was, then MAYBE at least it would make sense for why I didn’t even feel like I belonged in my own family.
As an adult, I ate up mottos like “Why fit in when you were born to stand out” – and while I still DO believe that I (and the souls I work with) ARE here to stand out and be change-makers, I internalized it and took it too far – so far that I tried to convince myself that I didn’t HAVE the same basic human NEED for belonging that ALL humans are hard-wired to have.
People who needed others were weak. (Or lucky?!)
I wouldn’t be like that.
But, oh how lonely it still felt.
I tried to convince myself that it was my purpose to live apart from others; that as someone who was here to change the world, I didn’t get the luxury of friendship; of deep connection to others; of a sense of belonging somewhere.
I tried to ignore the ever-present and ever-growing hole inside of me; the hole that felt lonelier and lonelier the more that I grew and evolved personally.
I felt like I was getting further and further away from human connection.
I felt conflicted: (continued below 👇🏻)