A Golden Discovery

By Philipa Ardler

I don’t belong here.

I don’t belong.

In this place, in this body, surrounded, confined, captive. Living off a mere illusion of freedom, nothing more.


I can’t belong here.

I can’t belong.

I’m drowning.

I should be floating.

I can no longer do this.


I need to get out of here.


I need to swim away from the “life” that’s chasing my tail, into the life that I belong in.


Escape. Freedom. Hope. They’re my new best friends…Because I have nothing else.




They pass me by. The conformists. The school of fish, obediently following their head teacher. I am not enrolled in their school. I am not like them. I don’t belong alongside them. I don’t belong here.


I’ve tried. Oh believe me, I’ve tried. But I can’t. I can’t fit in. I can’t belong.


It’s been an unfathomable number of days, months, years. Of rejection. Of alienation. Of…discovery, self-discovery. Why should I fit in? Why should I conform? Why should I let them lead me down into the depths of – what I consider – despair? Why should I sink when I know how to swim?


We are born as individuals, but only some live as individuals and there is not one here who stands with me.


Of all those who make up our microcosm, all my “friends”, my “family”, they laugh, they scoff, they keep their distance.

To them, I am a fish out of water. But I now know I don’t belong and I now know I can make a change. I can try. I don’t need to shape myself around an unattainable reflection of perfection., I feel the pull of new tides, warming, welcoming. Understanding.


I can feel it. It’s a fresh perspective, a positive outlook on life and so many other, indescribable emotions. But above all, it’s full of belonging.



We are put in this world to live.


Existence is easy, as simple as floating because once you know the fundamentals you’re good to go – it’s living that’s difficult. Living is more like swimming against the current, it takes a lot of effort, strength and will power, but the end result is much more rewarding.


Live. Swim. Persevere. That’s what I’m going to do.


Contentment is one thing. Pushing the boundaries of existence, living completely, wholly, that is my goal.



I don’t belong here.

I know it. I’ve never been surer.

Which is why I can’t stay.

And why I won’t stay.


I will navigate the ocean of my future.

Until I find where I’m meant to be, who I’m meant to be, what my purpose is…


Until I find “belonging”.



I know I don’t belong in this life. But I now know that I am ready, ready to let go of the anchor. To take my first proper breath in a long time, finally free. I am ready to leave my prison, these four walls that have kept me, trapped, within them for so long.

No more constantly swimming in circles.

I’m swimming for real now.


Already, I can taste the salt water. Already, I can feel the ocean rushing into my gills, filling my body with renewed life, and oxygen of course. I can’t see my gold reflection in the sides of my tank any longer, but I don’t need it, I don’t need to see who I am. I know. I know who I am. I don’t have to belong to them and I don’t have to keep searching anymore.


I can belong to me.

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