The Need and the Want to Belong


For years I’ve suffered from the need to belong. It started when I was a child in grade school and in some cases rears its ugly head today.

At both Margaret Keating School and again at Del Norte High, I never felt like I belonged. In fact I often believed I was jus’ outside the circle even when it came to activities I was good at.

Worst of it is that I never out-and-out discussed these feeling – which I consider negative – with anyone. Therefore I don’t actually know if others have got through this or not, though I have my suspicions many have and still do.

Do you?

For me the need has been terrible and I’ve acted extremely superficially. For instance I joined the group ‘Vietnam Veterans of America’ as an associate member. The only personal connection I have to the Vietnam War is my father’s service.

I left the organization after only a few meetings having learned I didn’t belong.

Furthermore, I joined the ‘Civil Air Patrol.’ I was a member of the ‘Nevada Air Wing’ for nearly four-years and yet never truly felt I was a part of the organization.

It continued as I joined the ‘Cold Springs Volunteer Fire Department.’ That lasted about four years as I struggled to perfect my first aid and CPR teaching, followed by earning my instructorship in Emergency Medicine.

And speaking of that – I taught at ‘Truckee Meadows Community College’ for about a year only to discover — it was a fairly closed-society that I didn’t really belong in. Add to this — working as a paid instructor for the ‘American Red Cross’ for ten-years — which got me no further in my career.

Later — for fun — I joined the ranks of the ‘Comstock Civil War Re-enactors’ as the groups Chaplain. That lasted about three years before I grew tired of the politics and in-fighting among members and was eventually chased away by an angry Aunt.

That’s a touchy subject for another time.

It was about that time that it occurred to me – I don’t NEED to belong to anything – I was acting on my WANTS. Instead I realized I needed to finally be honest with myself and focus on my NEEDS.

And as I continue my life’s journey — I’m learning I still feel the WANT to belong — but instead I find I NEED only my family, friends, church and work. It’s all part of being a work in progress.

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