Belonging

Love Letter to TCFT

To TCFT,

I was a shell when I met you,

Waiting to be cracked open,

Released,

Set free into the world.

Closing myself off,

Not seeing my potential,

Believing I was good enough

Or able to reach my dreams.

Fearful of everything –

Rejection,

Being vulnerable,

Isolation,

Looking a fool;

But with you,

I cracked open,

Potential spilling out,

Fears released;

You taught me how to fly.

A confidence began to grow,

A confidence I never knew I had,

Breaking out of my comfort zone,

But feeling comfortable,

The good replacing the bad.

A place where I could be vulnerable,

Reveal the inner me,

Act a little weirdly,

Laugh loudly,

Or openly express my grief.

Learning how to fly

Just scratches the surface

Of what you mean to me

TCFT,

I never imagined two years ago

In Bosnia,

I’d have another huge family;

Like a lamb thrown to the wolves,

I didn’t know where to turn,

But I was adopted in,

Joined the pack,

Found a home away from home.

The love I feel is like no other,

Support beyond compare,

Hugs, kisses, kind words

Around every corner,

Bright smiles

And touches of care.

It started with my house sisters,

Nomes and Ellie,

Who shared a room with me;

Then Filip and Rory made me feel part of the pack,

Voice-noting the sister who means the world to me.

The care shown by Mikica and Robert,

Nevena and Ljubiša when I felt anaemic,

Bonding over dinner with Nina and Marko,

Sitting down to talk with Sandra.

Also having a heart-to-heart with Naomi,

A never-ending handshake with Miguel,

Chatting for hours with Saaf,

Dancing with Saša.

Thank you Tina for being my constant champion,

Thank you Darren for your thoughtful advice,

Thank you Mary for coming down to Croydon

And filming my poetry night.

I love you Francesco for being so full of life,

I love you Ismir for your beautiful smile,

I love you Luka for being so cute and sweet,

I love you Carina for your kind heart.

The list is endless,

I could go on for hours,

You’ve all touched my life in some way;

We’re family,

You’re in my heart,

Forever there you’ll stay.

You’ve given me a place to belong,

Which I never thought I’d find,

You gave me a gift

And so much more to write;

An answer to a prayer

I had no idea I prayed.

So this letter is to you TCFT,

My life-changer,

A gift from God,

My family;

I love you with all my heart

And always will.

Love

Shaniqua, Shefika, Shani

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Don’t Belong

All of us want to belong, don’t we?  I guess it’s just human nature.  We want to feel like we fit in or have a purpose in the world; it all adds to feelings of value and self-worth.  However, I’ve never really felt like I belong.

For many years, I’ve felt like I don’t belong in the world.  I’m just a random girl, who at times feels invisible and undervalued, wondering exactly why I’m here.  I don’t really know where I truly fit, which has had a significant effect on the way I view myself and how I perceive my relationships.

I always seem to feel like the odd one out, who’s trying to find a way to fit in and feel like I’m part of something.  Wherever I am, I always seem to be floating around like a dandelion but never really feeling comfortable enough to settle.  Yeah, I am a bit of a free spirit and I like being around different groups of people, but I want to feel as if I truly fit when I do stop floating.

I don’t want to be a try-hard, so sometimes I hold back and become more reserved.  I prefer to stand out rather than conform, which means that not everyone will like me.

I’ve tried being what and who others want me to be so that I could have some sense of belonging, but it was just too hard.  I lost myself in the process and it was killing me emotionally.  Now, I’m just me and if people don’t like it, then it’s their loss.

Nevertheless, I would love to finally settle and find my place in the world.  Nothing would make me happier, because all I want to is to feel like I really do belong…