Category Archives: just another story

55 – The age of Freedom

I am 55 years old and I feel like my life just started.

When I was a child and a young girl I had such dreams but I was also extremely shy and insecure, so the dreams stayed just that – dreams, my fears were very effective. The few times I voiced my dreams, I was told to forget it. “That’s ridiculous”, they said, “You can never do that. What if you fail?” Does this sound familiar? Fear of failure became the name of the game. And I was scared.

I grew up and had children, 4 of them, and became a full time mother for the next 30 years. I used the time wisely by educating myself and getting to know ME. It forced me to face my fears, to acknowledge that I had taken the easy way out by listening to the negative voices in and around me INSTEAD of just going for that dream, even if I would fail.

One day the children were all adult and had left home, I had only myself to answer to and I realised that now, NOW is the time, this is my chance to dust off those dreams and make them come true!

The world around me says that I am too old, but this time I am not believing anybody but myself. I’m old enough to not care. The only voice I am listening to is MY inner voice. And she tells me it’s time to rock’n roll!

One of my most attractive dreams as a child was to be part of a circus. I wanted to ride ponies and do funky stuff.

Well, guess what? Now I am doing just that; I am part of a troupe that do pony-shows and fire-shows. I do mounted archery; shooting arrows from a galloping horse. If you can’t join a circus – create one!

I also want to do acrobatics in the air, I feel passionate about it. And though I am fit as a fiddle it is far from enough. Besides which, I have a fear of heights. Am I going to let this stop me? HELL NO! Aerial acrobatics? Sure it will take time, who cares? I have all the time in the world and I am on this exciting life journey.

The most important thing I did to this point was bringing up the children. Was I a good mother? I have no idea, but I was the best mother I could be and this goes for everything else I have ever done and will do. This releases me from those oh so painful regrets that I struggled with all the time, I was the master of regret.

So to all you people, young and old; life is an ongoing journey and you never really know where it will take you. Don’t let anybody dictate your rules. And don’t for a minute believe that age is an issue: On the contrary, the older you get, the more freedom and choices you have.

Here some pictures of what I did this magical 55th year of my life

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The difference between letting go and running away

The one thing I learned in my turbulent life was to let go – of everything. I was moved between countries, between homes, between schools and every time all was lost; not only friends and places but also things. My magic boxes full of little insignificant treasures, my clothes, my toys. The first time I was displaced I also lost the person I loved the most, she who was peace and security to me, I never saw her again. I was just about to turn seven.

That was the first time I was displaced; I found myself in a new country without any of my belongings except a teddy-bear and a school-book. I struggled to understand, to fit in, to learn the language, to not be afraid. I locked myself in a shell and lived in a fantasy-world in my head. I was beaten, mocked and un-loved, waiting for the day when I could go “home”, to a place that didn’t exist anymore. A place which it would take another 35 years before I saw again.

The same scenario happened over and over again, albeit in the same country. I went to 14 different schools and never graduated. I collected new treasures and every time there was a move, an upheaval, the treasures were lost. Finally this became my reality. I stopped having treasure-boxes.

I learned to trust nobody, I learned to not get attached, I learned to live in my head and I learned to be safe in insecurity. It formed me and how I would live my life. I watched but didn’t join in.

When, as an adult woman with children, I finally settled down into a safe place I was happy. I thought I was settled – for real. But then the upheaval came again and I left for another country, another life. I couldn’t stay. In my new country I spent years waiting, unknowingly, for the day of yet another departure, because that was all I knew. Keep going, leaving, letting go. I am an expert at letting go.

One day I realised that I didn’t want to do it again. I didn’t want to be a displaced person. I wanted to form attachments, I wanted to watch the future unfold around me, in one place. I just wanted peace. I wanted to build something that was mine, create a small niche in the universe where I co-existed.

I made a decision to stay and form that future right where I am. It was scary, it still is. I am not sure how long it will take before I find peace in my decision, but it has to be done.

There is a lot of talk about the importance of letting go, and it is important to know how to let go. But it is also important to learn to stop and be part. To accept and take responsibility for that. Because if you are an expert let-go’er, you never catch up with yourself. You end up living your life on the bylines, watching life rather than living it, never fighting for anything because it’s easier to walk away. Peace comes from within and no matter where you are, it is there.

I might be displaced again in the future, but today it is no longer part of my plan. I am thawing inside, unlocking my heart to let life in. I am still expert at letting go, but now I do allow and  fight for that which is important to me. I am starting a new magic box of treasures. Almost 50 years have passed since that first little death of trust and I am re-structuring my soul, having dreams, taking part and being there.cropped-hagen.jpg

Lady Magpie

Pica Pica, Ms Magpie showing off

Pica Pica, Miss Magpie showing off

LADY MAGPIE

Lady Magpie was once Miss Magpie; she wore a dress too advanced for her young years, turning the heads of all around her. Though she never understood why, she seemed always to be in trouble with the advanced ladies of her tribe. They called her a harlot, an outsider and a tramp dressed up in fineries she did not deserve.
Miss Magpie had a heart of gold and she was badly hurt by these accusations made – though never to her face, so she could never defend herself – she just did not understand… In silence she carried the pain of exclusion from the group she so coveted to be a part of. She was a shy little soul and would seldom raise her voice to be heard.  When all the other magpies teased and laughed in unison, she was silent, she hardly knew the sound of her own voice.
What Miss Magpie failed to understand was the fact that she, both in looks and conversation, gave the impression of a worldly woman, albeit young, and society made no discrimination; if you talk the talk and do the walk, then you are it. Nobody bothered to look deeper at the lost little girl who happened to be gifted with both the beauty of youth and the plumes of her elders.

Miss Magpie, though having a heart of gold, was not slow to pick up on the advantages bestowed on her by others, even though she did not understand. She learned quickly to move effortlessly through the salons of low as well as high, being rewarded with the momentary love of many, the lasting love of none, all the while keeping her tender heart locked into a gilded cage of dreams, just waiting for the right moment to burst through in all its passion. She was patient. She bore tears, hurt, heartache, humiliation and pain with aloofness and cool. Her peers started fearing her, hating her and admiring her; who was this young girl who would not bend her neck or fall to her knees in tears? Why would she not be broken?

Pica Pica turning into Mrs Magpie

Pica Pica turning into Mrs Magpie

The years went by and Miss Magpie’s feathers started getting a bit frazzled at the edges. She found herself a nice Mr Magpie who made her a decent woman and took her far away where she was not known. Mr Magpie was a kind man but ignorant of the movings of the world. He dried her silent tears and stood patiently, though confused, at her side when he didn’t recognize her. They had children, little beautiful magpies, that they brought up in perfect harmony; she breaking her gilded cage that held her heart, and he, protecting them all.
The little magpies, not knowing the luck and joy they had encountered, thrived and grew to finally leave their home to search for their future and make their fortunes.

Mrs Magpie, having known the security of being an honorable individual suddenly felt lost, her close loving connection with Mr Magpie flowing away as the little ones left the nest, leaving her as confused as in her earlier years. But she had grown strong under the care and love of Mr Magpie and their little ones. She was no longer a fool.
She decided to leave, she had to leave. She had to know who she was – on her own. She had to know if she could fly. Gathering her feathers around her, she flew off into the future, her future, to see if it was even there. Not knowing if she would die trying, she had to try…She had to see if her wings would bear the weight of who she was. After much turmoil she found another land where she had to be silent because there was nobody to understand what she sang. In silence she turned into Lady Magpie, the exotic creature from another world, in silence she accepted the first tributes of her existence.

Lady Magpie, at last, singing her song

Lady Magpie, at last, singing her song

She could hardly believe it was true, after half a lifetime she suddenly mattered, still she stayed silent, hardly breathing. She went about her business and tended to her gardens and to whoever walked through her door, her heart soaring high above her in a new-found freedom. She was forgotten and she was remembered, but it didn’t matter, because none of it was real, and for the first time she became true to herself. One early morning she stepped into her garden, opened her soul and sang…Her song. She is Lady Magpie and she is true.

(It was hard to find credits for these beautiful pics, but I hope and wish that you amazing photographers out there realize the why and how I used your soulful pics of these beautiful birds <3)