The other night I sat in my car at the traffic lights. It was drizzly with rain – my favourite weather – and I appreciated the way the lights looked through my rainy windshield. I was nearly at my daughter’s kindy, ready for a committee meeting, and I looked out into the distance. I recognised the landscape – the local forest, and another main road in the distance, and then BAM, I was overcome with a feeling of not belonging.
This feeling took me by surprise, and I didn’t like it much.
I was on my way to my daughter’s kindy – a place she and I both love. We love where it is, we love the teachers, we love their philosophy of learning, and it’s nice and close to our house. A house that I (mostly) enjoy living in (though a few extra bedrooms wouldn’t go astray…), in a suburb I like. My boys go to a local school that they love, and that we also think is great.
We’ve lived here for 2 ½ years now, and for the most part this feels like “home”. I like it here. I like my city. I am happy to plan my life to be here for the foreseeable future, and I don’t have much or possibly any desire to go back to where we used to live. I miss the my friends there, and family, and the beach, but I’m not sure we can go back.
So I feel quite at home and happy here. So this feeling of not belonging really caught me by surprise. Where did it come from, and what does it mean? Where DO I belong?
I worry a bit that where I belong is over the seas, and I can’t bear the thought of being apart from my parents.