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somewhere I belong – Linkin Park

Text by Duke Maines


The Great Resignation’ as it has been called, involving so many people leaving their jobs—primarily in hospitality—though certainly not limited to this industry, at its core is a response to a human quest for meaning; truly an existential crisis spurred on by the pandemic—a catalyst but not the true cause—has people searching for the rare combination of fulfillment, meaning, AND the ability to make a living at the same time. 

And why not?  Why did it have to take so long?

When this began
I had nothing to say
And I get lost in the nothingness inside of me
(I was confused)
And I let it all out to find
That I’m not the only person with these things in mind

The truth is that more than half the population was actively disengaged at work before the pandemic.  Working from home, blending “life with work or vice-versa” gave us pause to reflect on who we are and what we are doing with our lives.  But with our mental health suffering, perhaps facing the loss of loved ones, exasperated by workload and zoom calls, we had to do something.  But what?

But all that they can see the words revealed
Is the only real thing that I’ve got left to feel
(Nothing to lose)
Just stuck, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own, and the fault is my own

It’s time to act; indeed, it is during a crisis that we often see heroic actions emerge. People come together to do something, anything, that can make a difference.  So why not for our own lives?

I will never know myself until I do this on my own
And I will never feel anything else, until my wounds are healed
I will never be anything ’til I break away from me
I will break away, I’ll find myself today

I’m reminded of the Founder and CEO of the edgy real estate company, Compass—Robert Reffkin, describing the purpose for his business as being a personal quest born from his own experience—we will ‘help people find their place in this world.’  Admirable. 

I have personally always lived my life this way.  My authentic self, doing what I enjoy. For me, there is no such thing as work/life balance. There is just life, and work is part of the mix—and I play a lot at work.  All of us should find that it can be done. 

Start by asking yourself what you are passionate about? Then look at your strengths—find stories from your life that show you at your best and lock in on the common theme.  Then step back and define success for yourself. If you are honest, it may not be to climb the corporate ladder—it may be, oh I don’t know, enjoying life and being a great parent and friend for example.  It’s always interesting to me to find people in leadership positions who actually hate leading people or people who got sucked into a certain function/job/industry without ever reflecting on what they really want to do. 

Now is the time. Go for it.

I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long
(Erase all the pain ’til it’s gone)
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands—‘Somewhere I belong’ by Linkin’ Park.  I miss you, Chester.