“Places possess an emotional significance that contribute profoundly to our identity as individual human beings; we all must belong somewhere to be complete persons.”
I read that today in the book I picked up from the bookshelf in my classroom, The Human Mosaic by Bychkov, Domosh, Newmann, and Price. (It was on page 1, if you are interested.)
And since I read it, I have been unable to get it out of my mind.
Where do I belong? I was born in northern Illinois but have not been back there even for a visit in almost 20 years. I have lived in many countries and in many states. Where is it that I truly belong? What place makes me a complete human being?
Would it be presumptuous to say that I am different, that I don’t need a physical place? Probably. And yet that is how I feel. But maybe I am fooling myself. Maybe I am missing something. Or maybe I really do feel that I belong someplace.
I think that, for me, my husband has taken the place of a place. I belong with him. I think that is part of what has been so difficult about this last year and a half with only seeing each other every 3 or 4 weeks. I feel incomplete. Not in a “You complete me” kind of way, though. It isn’t that corny. But I think that, because we have lived so many places for so long, he is the only real constant in my life. And I am OK with that.
But the quote also made me think about my kids. I think a couple of them have suffered from that lack of place, that lack of belonging. And I am only just now realizing it. Too late, in many ways. This is something I am going to have to ponder for a while.