Belonging, Being and Becoming are the foundations of The Yearly Years Learning Framework for Australian preschool aged children.
I’ve been observing Fox’s growth over the last six months since preschool started. He talks about different cultures, he knows he belongs to our family and that we belong to a community of friends who we trust and share with. Belonging has shaped his identity and awareness of who he is, where he lives, where he goes to preschool, who are his friends and so on.
I’ve been feeling unsettled and a sense of discomfort lately – I thought it was the unknown. Will we live in Canberra for a long time? Should we buy house here? Will we buy back in Melbourne? Is there something else for us? I had a feeling that living in this rental property was the cause of my feelings of discomfort but couldn’t work out why; sometimes I thought it is because the house is small and the layout is poor, that it is a temporary place and we are not investing in a veggie garden or making the spaces ours. Or is it because we can’t hang our art, or because I couldn’t decorate the room’s like I would have like. This week I realised that some of my discomfort and unsettledness is that I don’t really know where I belong.
We sold our house in Melbourne’s north before moving to Canberra. We had decided to sell and move within a couple of sububrbs in Melbourne, then Mark was offered a job in Canberra, so we decided we would move. In terms of belonging I just don’t know where I belong.
Place creates belonging, we can be anchored to a location, to a place. People create belonging, belonging to a family, or a community. I don’t feel certain about where I belong in terms of place, and I feel disconnected from some of the significant people in my life. My sister is in Melbourne and I miss her, our Dad lives in Africa where he has lived for 12 years, and my beautiful Mum died last year, – I belong to her so that is a great loss of belonging. Graham my stepfather is also far away. Belonging is important to all of us, it shapes who we are and who we can become. At different times in our lives our need for belonging is greater than others.
I have made some very special friends in Canberra in a very short period of time – they help me feel I belong within this community and I am grateful for their support, love and kindness.
I know I belong with Marco and our two beautiful children, and I know I need to sit with these feelings and just experience them……………..sigh….sometimes that is just bloody hard to do.