I Belong Here

Your home town is not necessarily the place where you belong.   

This is a little bit sad for me, however I have come to accept this and I embrace the place where I do belong. I really wish to not offend anyone, as my home town holds so many lovely memories and when I need to go somewhere pleasant that’s where I head.

Today I realised that I don’t belong where I was and moving was for us the best thing that could have happened. A few years back, due to circumstances out of our control we ended up moving to Shelharbour City.

Since I have been here I have had the time of my life, in spite of suffering depression and anxiety.  I am so glad that I decided to take my son to the local community garden as its been one of the biggest blessing to have come in my life. This has been a place where I have been able to heal from grief, to pick up my paint brushes again, to be creative, make new friends, feel a part of the community, to reconnect with nature and to learn many new skills.

In fact one of my new skills is to make little movies, here is a montage of my experience at the garden

Another thing that I admire about this city is, when I took my soon to the 2528 project where free activities are available for the local kids. What impressed me the most, was when asking about the near by school that had closed down and I was delighted to be informed that it was reopened by a community of people who care for their children. I could hear the dignity and fight in their voices and I thought to my self “this is the type of people who I what to be around and these are the types of conversations I like to have”

Sorry, I don’t give a crap about your kitchen reno or how big your house is or if you even own it!!!!!!!

Being exposed to the 2528 project had me meet a lovely chap by the name of Brian, who made me glance over the road to a discarded servo and suggested that it would make a very good community art space. Once again, this is the type of conversations that get me excited and make me feel alive. As a result, I’ve been involved with the Queen Street Servo Project.

As I have been out volunteering in this city, I have never felt so valued before as I have now. I remember when I first took my paints to the garden, one of the members said that they felt privileged that I had chosen the garden as a painting space. This took me by surprise  as I’d never really had this before and I can say that the sentiment was echoed by all who attend making me feel like we were family. Everywhere that I go here and put my hand to the plough it is welcomed with honour, rather than the usual statements such as the messy mum, weird, unusual and unconventional. All those statements are good but I am more than that and being embraced by this city has proven it.

What is even more special about living here is that I have been nominated twice for The Good Neighbour Award 2013 and if I had been still living in my home town I would never have experienced this. This is why I say that I belong here, as I feel that my gifts and talents have been embraced and appreciated. I feel that I have grown in confidence and I want to do even more for this community that has embraced me.

This is what makes a place rich, when they invest in the people rather than the image.

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