17 de maig 2016

you're sayin'? happiness vs confomism: the tricky acceptance

Klussen. One of the first words I learned in Dutch. And probably what I've done the most ever since I moved to Amsterdam. When I have to make space for a new "klus" and look for tools, I bump into my boxes, where I keep so many notebooks. Each time I look into them there are started stories, poems, songs of different stages. They are often started, but seldom continued. In the early 00's I filled one of my notebooks with writings concerning compromise or conformism apropos a conversation I had with a friend regarding my conventional and unfulfilling life in my corporative NL years. I am so lucky I am so removed from that, by the way!

Getting a bit off topic. Just recently, my two A'dam sistas thought I needed another notebook, and I am making good use of it, registering my everyday duties and at the same time combining the pages with my feelings and thoughts.
I sometimes give a title to my notebooks, when I know I am going through a long chapter I want to get over with. But my gift-notebook came with a default one: "even a little happiness is truly great".
And it sort of -sort of- offended me: even? little?. This compromise vs conformism came back stronger.
I appreciate my friends' concerns on my not so enthusiastic posture regarding all admin stuff that requires coming back. But on the little happiness bit I seem to understand: just give up to this. Accept what you have, because you have it all going.
But each one's desires are conditioned to their own standards. We look at others from our prism.
I don't feel I am on a quest to find happiness, because I feel happy. So far I haven't questioned that, although I can compare levels of happiness depending on where I live. How is that so hard to understand? Why can't you feel happier in a place you feel more at home?
But happiness is not the word, here. It is conformism that bothers me.
Maybe I refuse to conform, because this re-settling was not my choice and I still secretly hope either it is just some temporary joke or that I will adapt zombily and I'll bike away frolicking in the freezing rain as if that was the little happiness that is enough.
What I chose, after years of resistance, was to live and die in Australia, on the East Coast. In Byron, in Sydney, on Hyams Beach, on my own terms.
And I built that life throughout the years, joined those groups I miss so much, the greenups, the Chapel by the Sea, the permaculture, the GP Tuesday eve meetings, the trainings, the activism, the weekends with mama J in Enmore, my sturdy bike and the evenings looking at the sea, feeling the energy of the waves crashing against the rocks at Diamond Bay. For hours. In fact, I think it is the picture that comes to mind when I think of happiness. That and all the "I love my life-s" I have mumbled when watching the Harbour Bridge fade in a sunset while walking down Clairvaux Rd.

And I had already visualised my communal house made of stone and glass close to a beach, with huge windows and full of alternative-oriented people. Maybe kids, definitely pets and a shed in the garden where we could jam and we'd do book and clothes exchanges.
 We'd teach each other on permaculture, vegan recipes, sustainable practices, do yoga and meditate on full moons and we'd create a communal economy based on merit points.
The furthest I'd travel would be NZ and the Pacific Islands to help out for development purposes, to see my Kiwi legends or to teach/learn languages, or to Europe to connect to the roots, now and then.
I was on the right path hanging out with the right people, but my citizenship status wasn't there and it was an obstacle my will alone couldn't overcome. I can't change that. And every time I had to leave because of that bloody visa status, I'd interrupt the flow of my goal.

However. Non conforming, but accepting what I can't change, I feel the excitement of new opportunities of inner growth arising, since life is a learning  journey.
When I leave my Sydney home I feel less fulfilled, but in Europe is where I feel I can love more and feel loved.
I feel the love each day when I greet Pats for coffee, when I text my sister, when I talk to Bego about her plans of coming back (yay!)
I feel it when I see my mum coming sweaty from the shops after a mission to bring me 99% chocolate. When I sit by my dad, on the arm of the armchair and we talk about life. I feel it when my cousin kiss/bites me and gets so protective that makes want to die for him, when my aunt remembers my birthday, when I see my other cousin's zest and open heart. When Sílvia reminds me constantly that she loves me a lot and I am not sure I know what I've done to deserve that. When Myriam dedicates me an evening although she is touring nonstop. Or, most recently, when I think of a certain piercing glance that makes me soft inside. When Yoyo reports from Africa on unexpected Skype messages, when my German mum says: "du bist so 'ne tolle Frau", when we make Hühnerplänne or when I am reminded of my "Selvismus" by the girls in the Neckar area.
And then I forget about that silly compromise-conformism header, I feel love reigns over fear and I can finally feel only and foremost: