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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Wang

Why I never truly feel like I belong and prefer it that way

I never truly feel like I belong and I prefer it that way. What I mean is that a major reason as to why I never truly feel like I belong is actually because I don’t want a strong sense of belonging. I associate it with a collective identity and I don’t like collective identities. I focus very heavily on individuality and intentionality. To me, it feels like people often conform very easily and/or mindlessly, especially when they appear to have a strong sense of belonging, losing both the individuality and intentionality. Moreover, if I had a strong sense of belonging, I would feel trapped and dependent (or codependent), as opposed to free and independent. This is very important to me because independence brings me peace, comfort, and tranquility, contributing to both the sense of meaningfulness and the sense of beauty - the two most impactful factors for my sense of fulfillment.

Another major reason as to why I never truly feel like I belong is that I am always very aware of my differences compared with other people/each group of people, which is partly a function of my focus on individuality. If it feels like small differences (like preferences for food, music, movies, hobbies, or careers), then it is obviously not a big deal; however, I always notice drastic fundamental differences in attitudes, behaviours/lifestyles, desires, outlooks, and mindsets. The reality is that I am quite peculiar in many of those regards. I have a unique lifestyle and perspective. In other words, I live and think in a drastically different way compared to the "average" person here or anywhere else. I have very different understandings of some of the most basic concepts. For example, I have a different understanding of what it means to "want"; I don't believe in the concept of "need" nor the concept of "deserve". I see morality extremely differently, refusing to label anything as "good", "bad", "evil", "right", or "wrong". I am a pedestrian in a car-dependent world, a pursuer of fulfillment in a world that strives for happiness or success, a demisexual in a hypersexualized society, a believer of intentionality in a world that tends to do things mindlessly or impulsively, and an individual with an intimate and nuanced understanding of himself in a world that seems to lack a strong and clear sense of personal identity. I also experience the world differently emotionally; it is always interesting to see both how and how much people are affected by little comments and/or inconsequential mundane events. Another thing that sets me apart is my rigid adherence to my state of consciousness, which means I do not partake in commonplace practices such as reliance on coffee (caffeine addiction), recreational consumption of drugs and alcohol, and usage of over-the-counter medicine that makes me drowsy or hazy. Simply put and reiterated, I experience the world in a very unusual way.

Quite frankly, I think my lack of problems is alienating to many or at least makes me feel alienated and unrelatable, naturally making it much more difficult to establish a sense of belonging. It seems like most people struggle with procrastination, body image, direction in life, pressure, anxiety, emptiness, or various types of relationship drama. Whether it is minor or more major problems, it seems like people are always dealing with something. It's not that my life is perfect, even though I am blessed and privileged in many ways; it is just that with who I am, how I make decisions, and how I experience the world, I don't have those common problems and life never feels "bad". In fact, as long as I can maintain my basic day-to-day lifestyle, which doesn't take much at all and is very controllable, I can reach a level of fulfillment high enough to feel like life is "fine", even if I end up alone in a very basic living condition for the rest of my life. With that type of inner peace and acceptance of my perception of reality, even without going through all the links to my descriptions of how I experience the world and how I think, one could probably see why I don't have those common problems; one could probably also see why I never feel a strong sense of belonging.

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