I've been thinking a lot about belonging, lately, and what it means to me. As I have grown older I am finding great comfort in connecting, in being part of something, of sharing life with others. As a child we moved from school to school and I always had that sense of leaving too soon. I made friends fairly easily, but it was hard as the year would come to an end and we moved on. This continued until grade 3, when I happily settled in at the same school for the next four years.
Of course I belonged to my family, and they to me. Our family unit wasn't your typical one but it was all we knew and life wasn't so bad. We had our funny ways, like other families, but we didn't really spend much time with other families, or groups. I suppose we belonged to a larger family of artists, and this made for a pretty interesting upbringing at times. It was the 1970's after all! Lucky for us our mum was always there for us kids, as she is today.
As I drifted into a tumultuous adolescence I fell in with a group of kids who became my other family. Hanging out, being wild, seeing bands, walking the streets, playing music, a new kind of belonging. This morphed into different friends, different bands, shared houses, boyfriends etc. Although we took risks & made mistakes we had fun too and hopefully learned something along the way. And we had each other.I had some pretty difficult experiences during this time and I look back sometimes with sadness. I worked, went to uni, but I don't remember much sense of belonging then in those days.
When I was 25 I began my own family. A family of two. Having my baby Charlotte meant I now belonged to someone else, and her to me. We rode the waves together, she helped me to grow up.
A few years later I met Mark and we became three. Our family grew bigger and each time the sense of belonging became stronger. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. There is no other place I would rather be, than here at home with them. Yes, there are challenging times, as in all families, but we belong together, we are a gang, a tribe, bound by blood & love. We get each other, we celebrate together, we put up with and accept each others faults, we laugh and sing and do silly dances (well I do). We hang together.
I now also belong to many other groups and things. To Book Club, and Craft Group and our school community, where many beautiful friendships have begun, and are beginning. To our town, where we can be ourselves, where we can contribute and share. Where it can take much longer than you think to buy milk as there are so many friendly faces to say hello to. Where people smile and have a chat and care. It was beautiful to be amongst friends yesterday as our children shared a special occasion with their friends, I hope this gave them a sense of belonging too.
Then there is the blogging community where I have met some fantastic people, many who I hope will always be friends. And Face Book where I get to catch up with long lost friends
and chat with more recent ones.
and chat with more recent ones.
Belonging takes many forms. My brother & is family live far from us, but are always close to me in my thoughts, in my heart. The same goes for our family in America, who we hope to visit next year. The ties of family cannot be broken by distance, that kind of belonging is forever.
And at the end of the day, I belong to me. Sometimes it's good to be alone, to just breath and know you are ok. That not every minute has to be filled, with people, or work, or ducks, or stuff. Just you.
So yes, lately I've been thinking about belonging. How it's a big part of my life. How I seek it out, and love it. I know it's not everybody's cup of tea, but for me, it's part of who I am, or who I have become.
Do you belong to something or someone special? I bet you do, lovely friends. I hope you get a little sense of belonging when you visit me, because you are so very welcome here.
Enough deep and meaningful for today, I"m off to work on my ongoing list of things to do,
hope you have a happy week,
see you soon xo