It is now the 10th day of being back in the Netherlands and of seriously working on the Vardo. I’ve been living for 2 years abroad, in Sweden, a bit in Italy and some travelling in Spain. In Sweden I’ve had a rather lonely life besides my studies, and met few people outside classmates and a few friends which I met through classmates. All the time my focus was on topics of Gender Studies, privilege, normativities, and everybody I hung out with was known with these topics. Being back now in ‘reality’, among people who aren’t working with those topics every day, aren’t as aware or have never heard about them, I realize lately I got a little reality shock. Maybe combined with a culture shock of being in a different country, I’m not sure, but usually those culture shocks arrive a little later in my experience. The reality shock exists in my case out of the realization that people outside my small bubble still act within stereotypes, reassuring their normativities and solidifying their privileges in performance and speech. I’ve been outside my bubble while in Sweden, but I always went back rather fast, or made sure I had people to hang out with who were known with the topics dear to my heart. Now I start to realize, I’m back in reality. I won’t find as much of those queer people around here, who are known with feminism, who reflect and are aware of their privileges and act with humility with regards to their privileges, and respect to those who don’t have them. Who are politically engaged when it comes to fighting for equality, diversity, safety and comfort. These aren’t topics which are hot topic in the surroundings I’m now residing in, or maybe they are, but then in an opposite way of what I think to be appropriate.
Then there is another problem with this: I hate to be around people who make me feel I can’t say certain things. Where I have to watch my words, because otherwise I might offend them. The last thing I want to do, but I also don’t mean harm with my words, and when I don’t know or aren’t practiced in (not) saying certain things, I might make a mistake, and the last thing I want is to offend them. I realize, now I get so engaged when people talk a certain way, about certain topics, or perform certain stereotypes, and am able to discuss and point it out, I might become that person where people don’t dare to say or do certain things. And as you might understand: it is the last thing I want. But, how can I be around people who make me angry, about whom I recognize they are hurting people in their performance and speech knowingly or unknowingly, how can I not say something? It is a dilemma, because I’m so trained in recognizing and discussing these topics now, and people hate it so much when I do this, and I hate to be that person where people don’t want to be around because I say those things. Lately I’m trying at small things to keep myself in, but when it get’s too much I can’t. If I would say something at every thing I see, I’ll very soon not have any person who wants to be around me anymore. But how long can I not say things?
What a deliberations… I’ll figure it out, I’ll have to, but it will take some time. I’ll not be that angry person, who hates the world, because I can see it is the unknowing which makes people do and say certain things. And I can’t hate a world because people are unknowingly, I can only educate those who are willing to listen.
But, besides all these thoughts, I’ve been active in some handicrafts! When I’m going around with the wagon, I want to sell products from nature, which I can make while travelling. So, I started training and I’ll start selling soon, with what my mother can teach me: felting, spinning, weaving… It is super fun and relaxing to do, the results are beautiful, no animals are killed in the process (the sheep are only shaved), and although one will not get the minimum hourly-loan, the margin of profit is relatively high, especially with felting: perfect!
My mom does this already for several years, and has done many workshops, so she is a good teacher when it comes to these crafts. I’ve started spinning already, which I’ll turn into a nice woven blanket. And for now, I’ve made 2 felted furs of my own, and 3 together with my mom. We’ll have to figure out how to get all the straw and hay out of the fur, but when most is out, I might sell them. Pity, because they are beautiful, but I’m sure we’ll get other furs which are also beautiful.
Further I also need already an income, so I’ve been cutting some x-mas trees at a farmer, cleaning his barn, and applying for jobs in the area. Probably I’ll give my body to the science of medicine, which keeps you busy for some 3 weeks in a row and earns rather good, after which I’ll have free for 3 months to work on the Vardo. Sounds to me like perfect business!
And the income? Goes in the yet-to-make-perfect money-box: