becoming a self in history, becoming a self in my street

Beate Blockhuys

I was born in 1957. Finding out who I am and what I live for hasnít happened in a flash. It has grown slowly out of many experiences where I failed. When I was young I wanted to be a landscape gardener, but I was hurt by an unhappy love affair which left me with the conviction that I was unlovable. My confidence was shattered by rejection. I was so shaken by this experience that I got ill. My energy grew less and less, and I had to give up my training in landscape gardening. Later I tried to give courses in goetheanistic nature-observation, but over the years, self doubt led to the next failure. My endeavours to do social work also met with no success. Until now, all the various treatments I have had have not been able to restore my energy which means that I can hardly participate outwardly in society.

To make something out of my life, I have begun to write a book about the question: what is the meaning of suffering? I want to find out what pain is for in my life and in the world. I think about the world and read about society. My illness has given me the chance to make caring and finding meaning the primary activity of my life. I am always learning and always growing and my questions and my concerns mean that I find life very rich. I have found who I am and what I want to do. It is never complete, but I can always be quiet and still and care about the world. That is who I am and that has emerged very slowly through one failure after another.