I’m still not done with my decluttering project. Can you believe it? I’ve been at it for over a year now and I have made a lot of progress. Oddly enough, though, it feels strangely cyclic instead of linear. I guess maybe it’s because just as we grow in spirals we declutter in spirals. Not in one straight line.
Yesterday a year ago, my dad passed away. I feel I ought to leave a trace here to remind myself not of our parting but of our meeting again after twenty-nine years of no contact whatsoever. I am so immensely grateful that four years ago I mustered the courage to contact him. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And the most rewarding.
Two years ago I saw my dad – for the first time in 29 years. Our paths had separated when I was nine years old and my parents got a divorce. It was a sudden end to the life I had known. Before I realized my dad was gone. My mom, my siblings and I moved away to live with our new stepfather. I never heard from my dad again. It took me 29 years to find the courage to write to him.
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They say it’s important to treasure the moment, to savor the simple pleasures in life, and to practice gratitude. I’ve tried my hand at it for a while now, starting off by taking photos of situations and people that filled me with joy. I stored them in a photo diary on my phone, tried to update it daily, as a ritual, and from time to time scroll through it. And though it always made me smile it’s only today that I discovered my ultimate gratitude hack: Short videos.
I went to a lecture yesterday on the wrongness of today’s mainstream way of life. I’m not a big fan of labeling things as right or wrong, but I was attracted enough by the underlying message that we could divert from the norm. In the end the talk turned out to be somewhat disappointing. There were some interesting ideas but too much politician bashing for my liking. I left with the sense that the most important thing remained unsaid: That things CAN change. If only we start with ourselves.
The other day I spent some days at the sea. Not any sea – but the place where I was born. I left it behind when my parents divorced and have only returned for holidays since. This time was different, though. When I got there and took my first deep breath, the fresh salty ocean air must have found a secret pathway to a spot deep, deep within me that had been lying dormant for a good three decades. It touched it, ever so gently. And suddenly I knew: I have to go back. I have to go. HOME.