I have been asked so many times what my goals are for the new year. They are exactly the same as they were last year, and the year before! I wrote about it one day after I almost squished a snail who was making his way across the pavement in the direction of the road.
This little fella had a very close shave with Caramel today. It would not have been Crushed Caramel. It was almost crushed Mr Snail. Oh so close! He really was a little fella. I was very relieved that I noticed a little white blob and then crouched down to realize he was making his way at a reasonable pace across the pavement. I thought his shell was really pretty. So much so, that as you see, I was moved to take a little photo to share him with you today.
I was rather concerned though about his general direction. The little guy was heading away from a very lush green flowery suburban garden and he was set head on towards the road. Why would the snail want to cross the road? Should I intervene? I don’t think he would stand much chance against the Chelsea tractors that rumble along this road. Should I have picked the little one up and relocated him to another nice patch of greenery? I had a bit of a moral dilemma…and I am still very doubtful that I did the right thing. Maybe I was interfering. Perhaps there was a very important legitimate reason why he would risk his shell to make it to the other side of the road. I could have set him back from reaching his ultimate goal.
Of course…that made me think about a situation I faced recently.
Next month…it will be three (now it is three and a half) years since I was the victim of a crime, that has knocked my life completely off course. Now I don’t want to talk about that here. But recently a friend told me she had seen some of the men who helped me out after they found out what had happened to me. They used to co-ordinate the projects I was involved in and they often piled a great deal of work onto my plate and asked me to do long long hours. After they found out I was in hospital after being found by a security guard, they discretely made it possible for me to be absent from the work I was responsible for. They travelled across the country to visit me while I was staying with my family and I was able to talk a little about what I had been through the night I was attacked.
At the time I appreciated their reassurance that nobody was expecting me to rush my recovery. They made it very clear at the time I can take as long as I need to get back on my feet. You cannot rush someone to overcome a horrific ordeal. They assured me that time was not the issue. They wanted me to do whatever I needed to recover in every way.
My friend had seen these men and she told me that they were asking after me. It has been a while since I was in touch with them. What did she tell them? She told them that I was doing really well, that I seemed happier than she had known in years. She told them that she thought having a change of scene and a change of pace was really good for me and that I seemed to be thriving.
I know she meant well…
But I ached inside when I thought of what those men must have thought. They are looking after everything for me. They are keeping my belongings safe. All the furniture that I own is there at my accommodation waiting for me to return. 90% of my clothes and shoes are there. All my family photos and everything precious and sentimental to me is there…waiting for me. I miss my home…that is my true home. I miss my career. I miss my world of friends and the sphere of activity I was very busy within. I miss it intensely. I ache to be back there.
I am here, not by choice, but because I needed to recover from what happened to me and build my strength and stamina back up before I can go back to that extremely demanding lifestyle – demanding, but immensely rewarding and satisfying. It is the most purposeful existence I have ever enjoyed. Yes, I was sometimes naturally tired after the long hours I put in helping people. But it gave me a level of joy no other job has given me.
I know my friend loves me and wants what is best for me. I know she meant well in what she said…but I am now nervous that they might think I prefer being away from that demanding career and the inconveniences of the area I lived in.
I guess I am a bit like that snail. I am trying to make my way steadily and at a pace that is maintainable to reach my ultimate goal: HOME! I am worried her words, to those men who care about my welfare so much, might make them think they should not expect me back. I am so anxious I am going to have to write a letter or an e-mail to let them know I am doing well, but the life I have here is nothing compared to the one I had before.
Some of my friends here find it hard to understand this. I can see they want me to let go of the past. They want me to “close a chapter and start a new one”…I have heard that so many times I have a strong dislike for those words.
This is how I have tried to explain things to them: Imagine a married woman who is the mother of small children. She loves her family. She works hard and is tired, but she is content with her purposeful role. One day an event occurs which separates her from her family. Imagine she wakes up and is told that it is much too dangerous for her to go back to them right now. In the meantime, she is provided with a safe and pleasant home and she has interesting work that keeps her busy but is not exhausting. She is safe, she has everything she needs and much more. Could that woman really forget where she belongs? Could she ever forget her true purpose? Could she forget her family that she loves?
I have to get back to my home, my life, my world…I will march on. It may take a lot longer than I would have liked. I will be like that snail heading with determination towards the road…heading on a long perhaps arduous journey at a frustratingly slow pace…But I am determined I will make it back to where I belong. One day I hope to make it home, no matter how long it takes. One thing is for sure, there is no way I am going to give up my goal and head in another direction for something that is vanity to me.
Who would have though a little snail could provide so much inspiration?