You are only free when you realise you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great. – Maya Angelou.
For 20 years, Brené Brown profoundly disagreed with this sentiment. Although she admired Angelou, she opposed this quote. Brown had long believed that in many ways she did not belong. “Not belonging” had formed one of the most “painful threads” of her life. As an academic and now research professor in the social work field, Brown has spent the best part of a lifetime pondering topics like vulnerability, shame and belonging. At the time she heard Angelou’s quote, Brown firmly rejected the idea that “belonging nowhere” meant freedom.