I have lost my voice, my validity; I cannot find my place in the world. I am ashamed of my aspirations – I feel useless. It has taken fourteen years to strip away my enthusiasm, my excitement for life, my self belief. I am exhausted and battered by circumstances. I worry that my ideals are no longer acceptable in today’s world, no longer practical or useful- I am too old fashioned, out of touch, unrealistic.
And then last weekend, at the end of my train journey, I found a different perspective on my life. It was like looking at snowdrops against the background of the recent snow and realising that they aren’t the pure white drooping flowers I thought. Last weekend, I discovered that perhaps I wasn’t alone. That there are other people struggling with the world as it is today, people who don’t want high speed, high tech, high stress lives. And that it’s okay not to want that. What’s more, perhaps what I have to say is relevant to someone else, perhaps there is a place for me after all.
Recently I have found a place where I can be me for tiny fragments of time. A place were I am not judged, or shouted at, or told what to do or how to think or that I am wrong. In the woods, in the trees that are my own, there is a world where I see shards of hope, thumbnails of the happiness and strength I used to feel, glimpses of who I used to be.
So this is where I set off down the track. Maybe by sharing the sanctuary I find in the trees I will strike a chord with others, and we will no longer feel alone.