I am in the middle of packing up my life and I didn’t expect it to be this traumatic! Apart from clothes and a few books etc, EVERYTHING has to be packed into boxes and put in my newly boarded out loft. The lads are coming round on Sat to put all the boxes up as I ‘don’t do’ ladders. I figured packing would be a fairly quick process – just dump it into boxes and sort when I come back home, whenever that may be.
However, as I am sorting through and packing I can’t help but stop at everything and remember…a little ornament that was given to me over 10 years ago for helping some flute pupils. I hand sown bookmark with my name on it from some very grateful Ugandan’s that I taught. Lots and lots of photographs going back nearly 30 years covering all my major life events, and some not so major ones! It is not simple to just ‘dump’ these items in a box an seal it up, knowing that you don’t know when you will be back.
At the earliest it will be 18 months but realistically it is upward of two years. Even if I come back right at the end of my Rwanda contract I cannot move back home until I have a job to pay the mortgage and that will take time. I also do not know where I might be led in the next 18 months. I really feel that the continent of Africa is where I should be right now, and I can’t see me coming back permanently for the foreseeable future. Only time will tell when I get to see all of my ‘stuff’ again and that makes me sad. And if you think that is materialistic ok do so, but remember we are on this earth but a short time and we are to do everything within our power to make it a happy and righteous time.
Most of the things I was sad to see go in a box were gifts. They were given to me out of the kindness of someone’s heart and they meant something to the giver. They also mean a lot to me. Materialistic? Maybe, but I am not clinging on to them nor taking them with me. Just remembering the good times, and some sad ones and reliving past experiences as they have gotten me to where I am today.
If I hadn’t have done rubbish on my A-levels and deferred a year I would never have met Ali. If I hadn’t have met Ali I would never have been encouraged to go to Music college and Sing for Pleasure. If I hadn’t have gone to SFP I wouldn’t have met Dave. If I hadn’t have met Dave I wouldn’t have been invited to an African Children’s Choir concert by one of his friends. If I hadn’t have gone to the concert (which I really didn’t want to go to) I wouldn’t have volunteered with them. If I hadn’t have volunteered with them I wouldn’t be embarking on this trip of a lifetime to Rwanda and goodness knows where else.
So yes, it is a sad time, but also a really exciting one too. I am closing a door (or cardboard box lid) on one chapter and heading straight into a new and thrilling one. The next 6 months will be a strange time; I will be in a state of limbo, living at mums and doing supply work. The 12 months after that will be the most thrilling rollercoaster ride ever – Grissom would be proud!!!
Stay with me for my ride of a lifetime!