I’ve Never Felt Like I Fit In Anywhere

To tell the truth, I’ve never felt I fit in anywhere

“Steampunk isn’t about fitting in.  Steampunk is about refitting – the Universe, the past, your clothes, your idea of how to have fun, your ability to make stories, everything.”
― Jeff Mach, The Steampunk World’s Fair

“But you don’t have to fit in to be okay. Believe me! I am the not-fitting-in world expert. I have not fit in in maybe five different countries so far. I am homelandless. I even make mistakes when I speak Bulgarian. But it’s not big deal, not really. It’s not the end of the world, right? It’s okay.”
― Anne Nesbet, “The Cabinet of Earths”

I’ve never really felt I fit in.  I’ve never really felt at home in groups, even though I love groups, even though my life’s work depends on bringing people together into large groups and making them feel as safe, excited, and happy as possible.

But I’ve never felt at home anywhere.

Which is odd, because I now have a lot of places that I can call “home”, and a lot of places where people welcome me with great kindness.

It’s true that I’m an extrovert. But the only real home I have is inside me – or inside the moments when I suddenly realize I’m part of a shared experience, creating something that’s never been before.

Humans are social animals; you can Google any number of studies on social isolation to find out what happens when we don’t have our own kind, our own tribes, people we can speak to.

I’m surrounded by people, people I genuinely love, and still, it’s hard.

It’s weird and it’s lonely. But at the same time…

It makes me treasure what I have even more.  It makes me treasure Steampunk, Faerie, Goth, Fandom, and all the peculiar worlds we build.  Because I’d rather feel at home a few times a year, and be driven to make those experiences, than feel at home all the time, and be content where I am.


Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.