Lily Oak Books wrote a lovely post in which this phrase, ‘I…strongly identify with the immigrant’s quest for “home” ‘ struck my heart because it’s a theme I have long pondered, this quest for home.

I imagine that some people find it quite easily, a place to call their own. A place where they belong with little effort. There were groups in my high school into which several people fit nicely into a specific slot: athelete, intellectual, cheerleader, drug addict, nerd. I fit into none of those.

There are people in the book blogging world who have carved a nice little spot around which their book blog can center: mystery, science fiction, fantasy, classics, romance. I fit into none of those.

Some blogs that I love are so erudite that I read and reread posts, searching for understanding. Or, connection to something that I’ve read. Or, I simply sit back in wonder at the beauty of the writing. My blog is not like that.

I’m starting to scratch my head about the place where I belong. It is not with the young moms who blog about fitting in reading while raising children. It is not with professors who actually teach writing. Or, literature. It is not with “chick lit” or “cozy mysteries” or current best sellers.

As usual, I am in a place of my own. Not part of a group, necessarily, but more on the fringe. It’s a place I’ve become comfortable with, most of the time.

But, I can relate to the quest for home. The place to belong.

42 thoughts on “Belonging

  1. I feel ya. Who doesn't struggle with fitting in and finding their place. I know in my personal life I'm going through a bit of that myself. For example: I have such a hard time making friends. I try sooo hard but I don't always get good results.

    I like bloggers like you. I think you come up with the most thought provoking posts. You make me reread posts. I almost never ever ever do that and I've been a big blog hopper since '09.

    Is it overstepping my boundaries to ask what your other passions are? I kinda loooove when people share their passions. Even if it's fashion, traveling, hiking, eating out, photography, whatever really.


  2. Your post really resonates with me. I love your blog, Belleza! Everything is so thoughtful and honest. I don't think anyone would care if you don't fit into a specific blog niche.

    I sometimes feel the same way, that I don't fit in, but I just find it too exhausting to try and do what everyone else is doing 🙂


  3. I think those who are in groups are there because they do not know how to be individuals. I know when I read your posts you are your own person, you do your own things and I love it. I don't fit in either. I hang out with a fake Penguin for heaven sakes. I think we all stick together and don't fit in any where together. Love your space.


  4. Over the years I have felt like “I didn't fit in” when I made attempts to be part of a group….beginning way way back in time with girl scouts, student council etc. The older I got I just felt happier beating to my own drummer — maybe that is why I am so drawn to your blog:) Hello my friend.


  5. I believe your blog is about love. Love for your family. Love of your faith. Love of good literature. Love of friendships. Love of nature, whether it be in a cabin in the woods or biking near a river. Love of good food and quiet moments. Love of winter… something I'll never understand! 😉 And love of the perfect lipstick and perfume. Your book reviews, photography and the sharing of your honest thoughts inspire me.

    May I please join your group?



  6. I agree with all the others saying that your blog is about love and beauty. I feel that very strongly here. I think the question of belonging is always a vexed one, though. I often feel I fall between all kinds of stools myself. But then if we fit a category perfectly, that wouldn't show our individuality so well, and there would be pressure, too, to keep conforming. And I daresay you'd feel as uncomfortable with that as I would!


  7. A topic so close to my heart. Thank you for the link, Bellezza <3. Perhaps it's my INFJ personality but I think I've come to appreciate the individual voices more as I get older, the ones that don't fit into a neat box. That desire for/rejection of "home" (in whatever form) as a nice neat box can be such a struggle, and the push and pull can leave me feeling off-kilter. Where do we truly belong when we feel that pull in so many directions? I envy the woman who lives down the road from her parents, knows the names and all the business of her mail carrier, the janitor at the church, and the clerk at the market. Yet. Yet. I know I would go squirrelly in a minute if I lived that life. This topic is too big for a quick comment, but I want to say that I appreciate your voice and that life in a "niche" can get sort of confining at times I would imagine. A little while ago you left a comment on my blog about how diverse our tastes are: "Talk about a wide variety of books, but that's what we like, isn't it?" That's what I love about your blog - there is lots of room to stretch 🙂


  8. Juju, so glad that I “make' you reread posts; I want to make what I write of meaning and substance. As to my passions, they are so simple: faith, family, teaching/learning, and on a far more inconsequential note, red lipstick and French perfume. 😉

    Making friends is not easy. In my life I desire a few close friends rather than many acquaintances, and I find that takes time.


  9. See, there's a fine line to me between fitting in and doing what everyone else is doing. I certainly don't want to do that! As my dear friend says, “When have the masses ever been right? The masses crucified Christ!” Anyway, I guess what I was trying to articulate in this post is wondering exactly where my place was in this book blogging world, and as I often find it to be, it's in a place of its own. Which is okay too, I guess.


  10. See, it's true! I do value the individual, and the unique qualities each of us bring. Like it says in the New Testament, how much good would it do if the body was only a hand, or only a foot? No, we need each other with all our own special attributes as you so clearly point out. And, I think a fake Penguin would be wonderful: no talking back! 😉


  11. Darling Les, you and I have been in a group for several years now. I'm so very grateful for your friendship, for your constant word of encouragement and kindness. It's so good to share our love of books, and cycling, and cooking, and photography, and good food and quiet moments. You inspire me.


  12. Victoria, I'm so glad that you feel the “love and beauty” here. I feel that at your blog as well, along with incredible perception and analysis. Thanks for writing such a beautiful blog and leaving comments elsewhere.


  13. I think you and I have much in common Lee-Anne, as I come to know your blog better and better. In fact, my Meyers/Briggs is an ISFJ so look how similar we are! Your post really got me thinking, and that's what I so love about blogging, the way that words can pierce us and poke us and prod us toward contemplation or change. And you're right, this is too big of a topic for just quick comments, but we can say let's be friends and let's stretch together.


  14. I burned out when I only read and wrote about the classics. Because while I love them, and very much feel like I need to read them, I like to read other things too. Denying that part of myself caught up to me.

    Now, my goal is to write about whatever I want. I don't want to fit anywhere. I just want to be myself. I'm not sure how to do that yet, but I'll figure it out.


  15. You have a distinct voice. I follow your wonderful book choices and listen to your takes on books.
    You have a splendid place you can call your own.
    By the way is the photo an underground hotel in Australia?


  16. You make a good point, Allie, about the boredom that comes from only writing on one topic. And the goal about writing about whatever you want fits hand in hand with Andi's phrase to read whatever she wants. Which is, afterall, the point.


  17. You've always struck me as a “beautiful blog” blogger. Beautiful not only in appearance but, most importantly, beautiful in thought and content. I remember the first time I visited your blog. Was inspired by the images your words conveyed. You are, I believe, a blog that caters to dreamers like me. 🙂 P.S. I'm not blogging any longer because I got tired of taking care of a self-hosted site, too many things to do to keep it going! I really really want to go back to free WordPress so I don't have to think about the technical things. Sigh. When I find out how to import my whole blog back. Missing you. x -Claire


  18. As ever I'm late to comment but I love reading lots of blogs, both those which do form more of a group with distinct tastes and those who are a little more out there. I find that the blogs I return to are those with a distinct voice or personality, whether they be part of a group or not. I like your voice and I agree with others, you do create a place of beauty and tranquility here. Looking at the comments, it seems that a lot of people appreciate that.


  19. Hi B and Helen, I am trying to move back to free WordPress and then I can move on with blogging again, even if not all the time but at least occasionally. It's been such a pain maintaining the self-hosted site, I want out of it fast so I can get back to no-fuss blogging again. Very very soon! 🙂


  20. Well you sure do. You have this beautiful ability to be succinct and yet meaningful. That's a gift.

    Ooooo French perfume. Ok I would read about that. And truthfully, I would read about red lipstick too. I'm always looking for the right shade of red.

    Thanks for replying and you're right close friends do take time. 🙂


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