“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Sometimes we come late to the party, when the cake has been cut and the dance already started. Those of us who weren’t born in middle class families or even in “first world/developed” countries experience this all the time.
Don’t even think how difficult this is when you are also introvert and shy or are new to certain circles of knowledge.
It takes time to get used to who is who and what’s going on. It is difficult to find a breakthrough even in unorthodox environments, such as the Permaculture world. Or any world…you may be always a newcomer, a stranger, a minority, an oddity.
When you have run a mostly “conventional” life, changing is difficult. You are competing with young people, with extremely prepared and educated people who have lived many extraordinary experiences…for you, all is new and wondrous, but also challenging and sometimes, frustrating.
Things go even worse when your life has not been “conventional” as accepted by societal rules: when life has not allowed you to have a solid “career” because you just had to get to work at age 14 and then scramble to study something (without money, family support or much time as all time goes to work, commute and household/family chores)
That is my story, and probably the stories of many other (men and women) who can’t even dream to get out of that pattern; who are enslaved by a system where “survival” is the main goal and stays that way forever.
I got out, I broke the pattern: studied hard and graduated against all odds just to not be “recognized” when moved to Canada and ha to start all over again.
Now I am re-inventing myself yet once more: the race continues here, always trying do something I love while becoming financially independent (I wonder sometimes if that may be just a nice fantasy, achievable by those who were lucky enough to be born or raised in the “right” place, in the “right” family, in the “right” time…)
But after battling with those dark thoughts and feelings, after allowing myself a moment of despair and hide away from all…after noticing how much more I have to run to even stay “in the same place”, I overcome (with some resistance, I have to confess) these not-so-nice feelings and start once again, ready for whatever comes ahead…and ready to coach others to do exactly the same (or better)
Here I am, old enough to say that probably the time I have left to live is less than the time I have lived so far. Changing careers again, this time for good: coming last to a party that started years ago for many younger people. With limited time to dedicate to explore it, and much more limited resources and energy to re-define myself.
But, paraphrasing Victor Hugo On résiste à l’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l’invasion des idéesor (free translation here) : “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come”.
I would say as well that nothing is stronger than a woman with a resolution…
My resolution, for those who have followed my blog, those who know me close enough and those who I have had the honour to be their “career counsellor”, is to help as many as possible to become resilient and independent, while creating a model of a more liveable and just world for all. A world where the planet and its living beings don’t need to be “protected” because all live in truly sustainable ways…
“The need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal.”
~ Victor Hugo, The Memoirs of Victor Hugo
“Social problems overstep frontiers. The sores of the human race, those great sores which cover the globe, do not halt at the red or blue lines traced upon the map.” ~ Victor Hugo, Les Miserables