Belonging is not dependent on things being as we want them to be. It is not necessary to achieve (some definition of) success, behave like everyone else, have the perfect partner, be the perfect size or shape. In fact, the forces of oppression need not even magically disappear (though that would be cool) for us to experience belonging. And get this: We also don’t need to feel belonging to belong. Belonging is truth and it is the fundamental nature of reality right here and now, whether we feel it or not. For me, it’s often been not.

I explore belonging precisely because for most of my life I felt I did not belong anywhere—forget everywhere. I was plagued with feelings of

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