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.