Where have all the wanderers gone?
Reflecting on being lost and new-found freedoms
Freedom. What a broad concept to unpack in a single blogpost. I can talk about freedom of choice. Freedom of speech, creativity, thought, or of being. Freedom of movement and travel, in being a wanderer, though, is what I want to write a bit about. This is not only because of lockdown. Although it was a catalyst to a lesson or change of perspective I’m currently experiencing.
To be honest, I have been quiet or distant because I have been in the midst of a shift. And if you can imagine what it is like when the of the earth plates shift, your attention and awareness are heightened. You’re on edge, balancing, hoping there isn’t a shift between your legs (ha!), but also watching what is falling and breaking, wondering how long this will last - alert- in the middle of an inner quake.
You see, in 2018, I ran away from home. I packed my things, waved goodbye to the husband (I don’t think I waved) and drove off to Cape Town (4 hours drive from Mosselbay), and went into hiding, into discovery, hoping for healing.
There was a slow buildup to this, but I had reached a point where inner Yve had become stronger and was ready to discover and action ‘freedom’. I remember just before I ran away that my art had also taken a shift. Intuitively I created around emergence and rebirth and identity.
I got to Cape Town, and made plans to get divorced and all that. That was admin to me. What I really wanted to do and be, was me. But it was like I had no idea who that was. It was like I woke up from a coma and had no idea how I got there. So I decided to meet everyone who inspired me or sparked something inside me. I went to see poetry performances, I performed poetry too. I met authors and TV show producers. I met publishers. I made loads of art. I slept in, I stayed up late. I met up with old friends and made new ones.
I even applied to art school.
I wanted to see what life would be like if I were ‘free’. Obviously I thought that there so many limitations because I had 3 children and was married. Within these reasons lived so many limitations but they also bred lies about what else was possible; what freedoms were possible.
I loved this freedom. I loved the late nights, I loved the 'going out' and seeing different people. And diversity. I loved being switched on. Look, motherhood is a different topic. In summary, I see myself as a vessel and teacher of 3 incredible beings who I love dearly and that’s it. But I loved the independence. So I made the decision, I was going to study art full time in Cape Town and travel between the towns. Let me repeat: I loved this.
I would drive the long road, listen to my favorite music on loud and sing out my heart out. This was the life! I even identified as a traveling artist. I thought this was true freedom. That was my 2019. Of course, there were incredible challenges too, but I thought that at least I could hold onto that freedom I so bravely chased and defended.
In South Africa, our lockdown started on the 26th March. Because I have an autoimmune disease, we were a bit more cautious and I didn’t leave the apartment at all until the 4 May. My husband (yes, I didn’t divorce him) works in essential services which meant the kids were now back in my care. The cleaning, the kids, the household were now my responsibility again (we are not going to discuss still running a business).
The longer I stayed indoors, the more it felt like I was staring into a distorted mirror becoming clearer and clearer. Day in and day out, I was dealing with the trauma of losing what I had just discovered and loved about myself and my life. while having to face what I was running away from. Physically yes, but also realizing I was running away from the possibility of redefining a perspective of being a “stay at home mom” and elements of motherhood that were painful for me.
I am grateful for the gift that came to me through an entrepreneur community, my coach Rita, who I have been working with since last year November.
Her coaching heightened my awareness but she also helped me direct the awareness in a way that I could come to realize that often it is our perspectives that carry pain. When it shifts, or cracks in this case, light can shine through.
I sat wondering the other day, how the other wanderers, the travelers and travel bloggers are. I saw a quote a few months ago, “Not all who wander, are lost”. Then what are they now? Who are they now?
Are you now lost at home? Or have you found yourself within?
So what are my newfound freedoms?
In short: in being and in possibility.
I saw that eye roll.
I realized that I had a choice to be me, to be free, with my children as witness to that. That is a freedom I could not exercise when I didn’t live here. I always wished that parents, in general, were more themselves than just parental figures. Sometimes we attach an identity to a role and live that (and lose ourselves in the mix).
Now, as much as I can see my children grow (which is wonderful), they can see me grow too. And I can include them, and I can learn from them too, if I am open to that.
Which brings me to possibility. Because I held so tightly onto that idea and definition of freedom, I was chained to it. That, without even realizing it. And because I was tied to it, and being very specific about what defined that freedom, if anything changed (like madam Corona entering the scene), I would lose it. And that caused so much pain.
And while I held onto that definition of freedom, I couldn’t allow any other possibility, especially better possibilities that feel more true, that harbour less pain to come to be.
I think I am still holding myself, allowing myself to be tender and rediscover but I am grateful for where I am right now. Physically. And otherwise.
For now, I’ll allow myself to wander in the realm of possibility, in not holding onto things or outcomes too tightly.
And perhaps focus on looking forward to being free to discover what else is possible for me just for now, when it counts.
Sending light always,
PS If you want to chat with my coach and mentor Rita (based in Latvia but works with different people around the world easily!), You can connect with her personally through her Facebook profile. And to book a discovery call, you book her calendar here.