Since the start of the summer holiday I have been walking nearly every single day. I listen to music and look around and even stop to take pictures. But today something happened....
I was enjoying my stroll around the village. I usually pick tiny lanes that meander through fields where I can be alone. My only companions are cows who always look up when I walk by. They stare at me and in their eyes I think I can see a slight "hello, are how you?". Curious calves gallop up and when they come closer they jump back in fright. I always chuckle and enjoy it. I love these small moments. Today while I was walking and taking pictures a bumblebee flew into my face and flew off just like that. I was a bit startled and continued walking. A couple of seconds later I felt a wave of emotion come over me and I started crying. I was sobbing in the middle of a deserted lane, crying buckets of tears because a bubble bee hit me. Once I had cried every tear I could, another emotion took hold of me. I felt at peace. I have never felt such a feeling in my whole life and at that moment I knew what I needed to do.
These last two years have been, so it seems, good years. I have a stable job, my kids are thriving (even though they test me day in day out), I'm in a happy relationship which has it ups and downs like every relationship and I am able to live my hobbies like music, photography and crafting. Nevertheless, I had this gnawing feeling that something wasn't right. Today I knew what it all boiled down to. A SENSE OF BELONGING.
My life has been a good one. As a child I grew up in South Africa, and we went back to Belgium and later to Luxemburg when I was 11. I believe that part of my heart was left behind. I still yearn for my country (even if on my passport it is written I'm Belgian, deep down I'm South African). Since then I have been in a quest to belong. When I was a teenager I turned myself to music, then I met my husband and I devoted myself to him and my new life as a wife. Then I became a teacher and I became passionate about that and I felt I belonged there in front of the classroom helping my students the best I could. My children were born and I put all my energy into them, feeling that my family was were I belonged. The feeling of emptiness never went away. Something was always missing. So I kept on looking and I found scrapbooking. I felt that I had found a place and people that understood me (or at least my passion for photos and paper). That strange feeling of being lost and incomplete never left me and today I came to realize why. I have never used this word, but leaving South Africa and all it represented (the language, the smells, the sensations) has left me with a wound that I have been trying to heal that I will never be able to. I will always have that feeling that I left something behind. That feeling of never belonging has been my companion for years. When the bubble bee hit me today, I heard the Lord speak to me. This is what he said. He said you belong HERE with me. I'm with you every step of the way and I'll guide you. I cried tears of happiness today because for the first time in 25 years, I felt that I belonged. On a tiny lane in the middle of fields I knew I was where I needed to be. I was with the Lord. It was just Him and me. Then I knew I have still have a long journey ahead. There are things in my life that need to be worked on.
I have decided to step down from all my design teams. I will still keep on teaching for Big Picture Classes as I can choose what I want to teach. I want to spend more time on finding myself and working on my relationship with God. I will still scrapbook but I do not need to be part of teams any longer. I thought that being involved in the industry would fill that empty space that has been a part of me for 25 years but it can't. It has been an amazing journey. I have met amazing people they have taught me so much. Some don't even know that their stories have unlocked some of my closed doors.
What have I learnt from this world of crafting and from the people I have met (and I will only focus on the good):
- Do what you love and what makes you happy,
- Don't be afraid to be proud of yourself, don't EVER say you aren't good or good enough. You are SPECIAL and you have every right to show how special you are.
- There are no rights or wrongs, only different ways of life,
- Don't be afraid to feel sad or unhappy. I have often said to myself: "Don't complain girl. You have an amazing life, no worries, good health, healthy children, ..... ." Well, sometimes I feel horrible and there is nothing I can do about it. I know people are really in awful situations, but knowing that won't take away that feeling of hopelessness or unhappiness. All I can do is acknowledge and let it exist.
- BE YOU for YOU. Take the time to find yourself.
The Lord has been there every single step of the way. When I'll go walking tomorrow, I know he'll be there each time I put one foot in front of the other.
Thank you bumblebee for flying into me today. Hope you're okay because I'm okay. I AM OKAY. I BELONG. I FINALLY BELONG and that feeling fills me with immense joy. As I type this I am crying tears of joy.