The Desperate Desire To Belong Somewhere

One of the biggest philosophical questions is: Where do we come from? But I also think an equally important question is: Where do we belong?

I asked myself this question recently and came to the realization that everything I have been doing my whole life thus far was for the desperate attempt to belong somewhere. I mean, I was really desperate now that I think about it. It all makes sense. I am naturally a weird guy, but all this buffoonery and clownery I used to do was simply my way of trying to get recognized by the people around me. And the more I joked around, the louder I was, the more desperate for attention and recognition I was. This has been driving me for a long time. I’m sure of it. If all or most of my past actions were some sort of code, then the key to this code was my desperate desire to belong somewhere. Anywhere really.

Every once in a while, sitting on a bench in Austria with my father is the best feeling for belonging.

Every one of my actions can be derived from this simple desire. For most of my years I was never really myself, I think I have explained this thoroughly enough in my blog post “I’m full of shit”. I was always just a copy of someone, so that I might be liked and I could belong in a certain group. I would try to dress like them, talk like them, do the things they do, listen to the songs they were currently listening to, even though I thought they were absolutely fucking horrible. But as long as I bent myself to their standard, I at least had the feeling that I belonged with them. But obviously it was all based on a lie. A lie I couldn’t keep up, because I wasn’t myself. And now that I know myself a lot better, there is no way I can go back to this standard. I had or have good friends, but it is obvious to me now, that our lives don’t align with each other any longer. I don’t belong with them. Now I know that I am a complete stranger amongst strangers. As hard as it is to say and admit, but it simply is. Probably the reason why I wanted to keep up this lie is because it was so hard to admit.

That would also be the reason why I rarely argued with or criticized anyone, for the fear of getting kicked out of the group. I just wanted to be quiet, agreeing with everyone, so I can continue to belong there. I always wanted to be liked and that is a fatal mistake.

Pleasing everyone is not possible and shouldn’t even be tried in the first place. Be who you are and if people like you the way you really are, good. If not, also good. It doesn’t matter as long as you are yourself. Don’t be afraid of stating your opinion even if it goes against the popular one.

The only times when I truly felt to be myself was, as I once already mentioned, when I played video games. That’s where I belonged. Then it also makes sense that I would daydream of those fantastical worlds. And how utterly lonely I would feel, when I’d wake up and realize I was still in the same world. The real world with still with no place to belong to.

All I wanted was a place where I could belong to. Where I could fully be myself, and be accepted.

Just look at the background and you know how hardcore I was. 8-Bit Mario is still the best, though.

Although I believe that the desire for recognition is in our nature. Once our basic needs of survival are met (food, shelter, air, water, clothing, sleep, the extended Blu-Ray version of The Lord of The Rings trilogy), we want to be loved, respected and recognized, which in the end gives us a feeling of belonging. It gives us a place to be with the people who understand, love and respect us. Every form of expression we use is a way for us to get recognition. Love is a form of wanting to be recognized. We love someone and we want others to love us back. Power is another form: “Hey, everyone! Look at me how rich, famous, influential and powerful I am!” The same goes for art: If we express ourselves through spoken or written words, a painting, a movie, a sculpture or a video game, we want others to recognize us and/or our message.

The reason why I left Germany, the reason why I left Slumber Party (twice) the reason why I left all the places I’ve been to so far, is because I did not belong there. Maybe they gave me a temporary feeling of belonging, but I always had this underlying feeling that this is not it. I find it hard to remember when the last time was where I fully knew: “This is where I belong.” It must have been a very long time ago, because in my mind and in my heart I was always “out there”. For many years, any place would’ve been the right place to belong to. Now only the right place is the right place where I can truly belong.

Have I simply not found this place that can give me this feeling of belonging or am I the problem? Do I already possess all the puzzle pieces and I’m simply not smart enough to put them together? Am I to blind to realize how fortunate and lucky I am? Maybe I have to give this feeling of belonging to myself. I don’t know where to belong or with whom to belong, then maybe I am the answer to both of them. Where do I belong? Right here with me. With whom do I belong? With me. I just hope that I can share this feeling with the people around me.

Stuck between a fantasy and the real world.

I’m already happy and relieved to come to this little revelation about myself. It seemingly came out of nowhere, but once I really thought about it, everything just started to make perfect sense. My light starts getting stronger and it revealed another dark part of my mind and heart. This is yet another lesson for me to drain all the unnecessary shit out of me. Another piece of baggage I can let go. Another weight I don’t need to carry any longer. I’m already feeling a little lighter.


4 thoughts on “The Desperate Desire To Belong Somewhere”

  1. Benni,

    good to read & good to see your personal progress! Just a few days ago, I wrote about “Nirgendwo ist Heimat”, in which belonging to a place plays a role (what traveling has in common with being on the road and their differences). I found out, that there are of course places where you feel home, comfortable and secure, but to be honest: Heimat ist, wo Du bist – no matter where you are. What matters is who your are.

    And: we are all strangers amongst strangers, because all of us are individuals with different characters. When I meet my friends I know best for decades, they seem to have changed. Not completely, but they become strangers to me, because I see them from another point of view, because I’ve changed myself too. And they still mean friends to me – in a more different way – and it always has been like this in the past as well.

    It’s the shit within all of us that matters. It’s not shit, it is gold! We just have to recognize and accept it. What you describe as the shit in you, is what makes you the person you are. It’s not shit, it is gold. It is your treasure!! Make the best of it. You are on your way – as I am on mine. And from time to time our ways will cross as they had in the past. That is what happens between fathers and sons, when fathers accept their heritage from their fathers as a heavy rucksack which contains more gifts for life than bearable. And their sons have to see and accept that as well, because that is what life is all about: acceptance, the wisdom and courage to make the best of what you have been given – in good and bad, in heavy and light, in light and darkness.

    We all have to learn that for a better life that matches to ourselves. In Love, Paps


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