Monday, June 6, 2011

Belonging


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.


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

16 comments:

Tania said...

It's funny, but the older I get, the more I grow into this whole belonging thing. Something to be said for growing (old and) wise! Gorgeous post, sweet lady.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog today bek.. Such beautiful heartfelt words. Just beautiful! you have made me stop and think.. we are lucky to belong, be seen and feel heard and lucky to be part of special people's lives! Xxx big love to you xx
Michelle t :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely thoughts & words. Don't we all long to belong, to be loved, and to be accepted? And aren't we lucky to have people in our lives that we love & accept.
Today I am thinking strongly about the ties of family...this morning we waved goodbye to our daughter, as she started off on her road trip to Perth, she is going to live & work there for the next 5-6 months. from Jenny (Victoria)

hester said...

Beautiful post, Beck. I'm with you. Belonging is wonderful and, like you,I moved a few times as a child so I really love the sense of belonging I have now to my home and family, my friends and our school community. And I do love being able to drop into your place, so thanks for having me.

Floss said...

This is beautiful, Beck. Thanks so much. I think we had the feeling of this over the weekend too - the pleasure of being together as a family, and then being joined by local friends of the boys, followed by international friends of the family. Family, local and wider belongings...

Cardygirl said...

What a simply beautiful & heartfelt post...thankyou for sharing.

teddybearswednesday said...

a beautiful beautiful post beck.
says it all really, and I couldn't agree more, a sense of belonging is important. I know when I've not felt it, i've felt incredibly lost.
xo

Tanya said...

I really enjoyed reading that Beck. I think when I am feeling fragile, in myself, is when I most question where I belong. I spent time on my parents farm on the weekend- I was brought home from hospital (after being born) to there...I do feel a connection there- that's a land/ space belonging, not a people one. Some people make it easy to belong, don't you think? The genuine, open, accepting, loving...(daggy dancing!)...to felt like you belong is a beautiful thing.

Posie Patchwork said...

Family is everything, we move all the time (Army) & our children have such strength, security & happiness from our stable family unit, that they are able to make friends easily too. We're staying put for a while, why put the pressure on the tweens with all this moving?? I find i gain a sense of fitting in & belonging at every move, friends seem to find me, i'm so lucky!! As for craft, mummies & blogging, best sense of belonging ever!! Blogs give me that 24/7 sense of 'they're here when i need them' which is great. Love Posie

deux chiens et un garcon said...

Belonging is what it is all about. Beck you have witten this so beautifully. With thoughts of growing up, your struggles and where you find yourself today.

You seem such a gentle soul.

Hope your week sees you achieving all that you desire.

xx jill

Hosted Exchange Email said...

Nice photos!

Lindy in Brisbane said...

I really enjoyed reading that post Beck. Thanks for being so open and honest. I love your blog. And thanks for making me, a complete stranger, always feel so welcome.

Elisabeth said...

Dear Beck. Your writing is so darling <3

Hugs Elisabeth

manda said...

Hello lovely Beck..
your family are really really lucky to have you x

Akmal Khalidah said...

Your daughter,

so cute :)

Catherine said...

Thank you Beck for writing a "belonging" post & sharing so openly. I have been pondering these things all week & read your post to Rob somewhere along the line. We have found "home" in each other... odd pasts & struggles, both..hence our decision to buy our wee home, stay put & give our kids roots. It's working! Much love Catherine x