When I was little, my mother asked me who I wanted to be in the future. Perhaps she was just curious to hear her child imagining himself as a superhero saving the world from dark forces, or becoming a brave fireman. I found it hard to answer her question. I didn’t really have any interest in the usual professions. One of my friends wanted to become a policeman, as he thought that chasing thieves or other bandits would bring him respect from society. Another friend of mine wanted to be a doctor and save people’s lives. She’d always been ready to help other children who scraped up their knees and elbows during outdoor play.
I didn't fall into any of those categories. To my mother's surprise, I didn't want to be a superhero, a fireman, or a policeman. I even struggled to give her any hint relating to any profession of my interest. After she asked me the same question multiple times during that conversation, I finally responded. “I will find a treasure."
"A treasure? So you will be a treasure hunter!" She thought my unusual choice over.
"What does a treasure hunter do?" I wanted to confirm whether treasure hunter was the right word for my vision.
"Well, if there is a treasure, it is obviously hidden somewhere deep; it could be buried in the ground or it could be at the bottom of the ocean. Treasure hunters travel the world to find it," she explained briefly.
"Erm, I think I want to find a different kind of treasure," I responded with confusion in my voice. At that time I was around five years old, so I’d found it challenging to be able to express the vision of my future. I’d come into this world with the word “treasure” deeply coded in me, but as a child I couldn’t have known its meaning.
"Okay then, you’ll have plenty of time to figure that out." She knew the chances of me becoming one day a treasure hunter were minute. She’d pulled a photograph of mine out of a drawer, taken not long before this conversation, then walked towards her desk. She wrote something on the front of the picture.
Once she’d finished, she handed it to me, smiling, and said “Here, keep it. This will remind you of your childhood fantasy when you’re a grownup.”
She stroked my black hair gently with the tips of her fingers as if she wanted to tickle me. We both had thick black hair, but hers was much longer and curlier; mine was straight and styled similarly to the famous British band The Beatles. She was a big fan of theirs. I grabbed the picture from her hand with curiosity. It said: “One day, I will find a treasure.” I liked her approach to my idea; her gesture had made me believe that the day would certainly come, like a gigantic surprise. I slid the photograph joyously among my drawings, which were kept in a brown plastic folder in a toy box, and hugged her.
Years later, at the age of twelve, I was an inquisitive boy who would rather explore the streets of my city than go to school and be like other “healthy” kids. I grew up to be a bit rebellious within the educational system, and I had always considered the amount of time I was forced to spend in the school excessive. Perhaps that's why teachers thought I was out of the ordinary.
I often felt like I needed much more time to play and explore my local neighbourhood than I actually had. When my rich uncle gifted me a new bicycle, it felt like the world had opened up. It was like massive iron gates that had kept my curious soul within boundaries of my local streets suddenly fell and crashed into pieces.
Countless mazes of roads in my city emerged on the horizon. I felt as if I had just hit the jackpot. That turquoise bike literally altered my perspective of the city once I thought I knew. All of a sudden I could explore more of it, and in a much shorter period of time. I don’t remember my thoughts as a baby, but as far as I'm concerned I have always had this eagerness to explore the unknown.
I loved to ride my new two-wheeled friend as far as I could without thinking about anything. I took joy in observing the surroundings and gulping the wind in my face. Every day I would discover something new. I would gaze around at hundreds of old brick tenements and verdant parks.
I came across all sorts of different shops, which sold everything from sweets to cool looking shoes and even colourful umbrellas. The experience of seeing the breadth of the world for the first time used to give me chills all over my body.
At that time, I didn't know the city very well. Often, when I wanted to take a longer ride, I would merely cycle along the river, which ran across the entire town and divided it in half. This way, I felt safe enough to go quite far, but could still find my way back home by following the same route. Those moments taught me some common sense and logical thinking, which I’d use during my future trips.
At that time I had a friend called Lucas, who also had a bicycle. We would both take trips across London and keep company with each other. He was a jolly ginger boy who had a similar passion for exploring the unknown, and that’s what made us a great duo.
There were also times when I was banned from cycling due to my low attendance at school. This was the form of punishment my parents chose. They knew exactly what I loved the most; therefore, they'd take my bicycle away and hide it in the basement so I could learn about the consequences of disobeying the top down rules.
During those days, Lucas and I would just go for a long stroll and enjoy the town by foot. We'd spend hours wandering around the streets to explore museums, office buildings made of steel and glass or even luxurious hotels. We would enter some of them just to see what hidden treasures were inside, waiting to be discovered. Of course, there were no treasures, but for me, everything that I hadn't seen before was quite intriguing and worthwhile. My sense of curiosity had led me everywhere, allowing me to explore things before other kids of my age could even imagine their existence.
Lucas couldn’t join me on many occasions as he would often be spending time with his parents; they enjoyed socializing with their further family and friends. They didn’t want him to stay home alone, and therefore he’d sometimes be forcefully dragged along with them.
Once, I'd walked into a museum of natural history without spending a dime, and luckily enough I went unnoticed during the entirety of my visit. Inside, I saw a life-size skeleton of a dinosaur that lived 65 million years ago. I spent time staring at all sorts of strange looking minerals, rocks, and crystals. It was a mind-blowing experience, so to speak. I remember something very unusual happened to me when I held a crystal, shiny on one side and rocky on the other, in my palm. As soon as I touched it, I heard an unusual, sweet-sounding melody emanating from the rock. It was similar to a humming choir coming from the air and bouncing off the violet crystal sitting on my palm. I felt intrigued, but I didn't give the whole thing much thought, as I figured it was just a coincidence, and that the melody, of course, must have come from somewhere else.
Another time, I found myself in a war museum where I enjoyed wandering around some old World War II-era aeroplanes and tanks. Of course, I would sneak into some of the massive machines just to see what they looked like from inside. I have to admit that I was a perky boy and it felt like nothing could hold me back and stop me from following my curiosity.
Believe it or not, the little boy I used to be had not only lots of fun but also felt that he was gaining some valuable education. I needed to visualise or touch an object to analyse it rather than just hearing a story about it. I used to have this somewhat unique point of observation appear in my mind through sensing objects as if they had a silent memory wanting to reveal their life’s story. Once touched they would share a fantastic version of what they had ‘seen’ during their lifetime. The same thing happened with monuments of people or even the paintings I saw in various galleries. The phenomenon of sensing those objects would appear in my mind’s eye as a blended mixture of visions, showing glimpses of places or occurrences. I often felt, in my stomach or solar plexus, whether the object had a fascinating story to share or a dark and painful one.
Once, during a visit to one of London's most famous art galleries, I noticed a large picture depicting a whirl of colourful strokes spiralling inwards. It was an abstract piece painted by a famous artist who lived in the nineteenth century. It was titled ‘Wheel of Joy", but I couldn't feel any joy in that artwork. To me, it felt like a chaotic, negative source of energy pulling all beauty of the universe into its cold abyss. Perhaps these were some of the first confusions I had encountered in this world. A lot of things were named as good, but they didn't feel good to me at all.
At school, I learned about specific topics related to the exhibitions I had seen at museums, but for me, reading about or looking at pictures in the books provided came nowhere near to climbing on or touching the real thing.
Unfortunately, this type of knowledge I craved was not the one required in my school, so nobody was interested in listening to my stories. I wanted to talk about how I felt while being inside an old aeroplane at the museum, how I could sense that the plane had "seen" many different European countries from the sky. I wanted to share with my classmates how much one can find out from an aged machine just by being inside it and listening to the story the device had to say, but my every attempt fueled to my classmates’ laughter and mockery. They wanted to talk about beating records in online games they’d played instead. Many of my classmates couldn’t see life without their mobile phone tightly gripped in their hands. Hearing from me about a historic machine that had changed the history of nations was boring.
I felt misunderstood by everyone. I struggled to believe that nobody was as fascinated by the things that surrounded them as I was. Not only were they uninspired, but they also gave me a bit of a hard time.
Since I had become a rare guest in my own classrooms, I began to struggle to cope with the subjects. I started to feel more and more like an outsider and began to avoid not only my classmates but also my parents. It was tough to answer my mother's questions related to school with lies day after day, month after month.
“How did it go today at school?” she’d ask, after she’d returned home from work.
“Erm…it was fine.” I cut my answer short, feeling my cheeks blazing.
“So did you learn anything useful today?”
“Erm… we were just repeating some of the material from previous days.” I would do my best to respond to those questions in a way that would leave little room for her to ask more. The painful heat pressing on my chest, steaming through my throat making it dry and itchy, always overtook me when I lied. I couldn’t risk telling my parents the truth.
I was trapped entirely in my own dreamlike identity, filled with mysterious occurrences such as having transmitted, somehow, visions from objects I touched and the sense of being surrounded by friendly entities. My lies were a result of me trying to protect my innocent world from the world of adults, who seemed to me at that time to lack imagination.
I stubbornly fought with all of them the only way I knew that time. Just by doing what I felt was right and trying to avoid the consequences of my actions. This kind of attitude got me in all sorts of trouble and unpleasantness multiple times. At some point, the teachers grew tired of calling my parents to the school to update them on my recent absences, and my parents were tired of listening to all the disappointing complaints. The situation seemed to be hopeless.
Of course, they were all worried about my future if I continued "flying high in the clouds," as they used to say to me, rather than acting like other children of my age. "Finish the school, get a job, earn money and live a normal life!" I would hear this every day from my father. "Stop embarrassing me in front of all the teachers!" Mother used to groan at me.
My relationship with my father was much worse. He didn't like to talk much. Instead, he'd get a stick that he kept high up on a wardrobe and beat me up without even looking at what he was doing. Those moments were among the most frightening in my life, not only because of the pain from the freshly made wounds but also because of the pain I felt knowing that the person who had brought me into this world was abusing me.
“Why are you treating me like this?” I once screamed out of frustration and anger.
“Now, you’re asking why? What have you been told?” Father roared back.
I’d kept quiet because I knew exactly that I was told a million times to attend all my classes and bring home good marks.
“How many times do I have to repeat the same thing over and over again? Are you stupid or something?” He screamed louder and louder at me. “We’ve got enough of problems on our own here; you don’t have to bring us more of them just because you’re lazy!”
My father was right, but at that time I didn’t understand their problems. I could only notice my own struggle with disliking school.
Every day at school there was a specific time during which I struggled the most. This was the lunch break precisely at midday when most of the kids would run laughing and screaming downstairs to the canteen where the food was served. Everyone had to show a receipt that the meal had been paid for the month before entering the canteen. I didn't have that receipt.
My parents had explained to me then that their financial situation wasn't good enough. My father had lost his job couple of years earlier and put a lot of his savings into alcohol, hoping that it would cure his frustration, which had grown enormously since then. My mother also kept changing her employment status, but out of the two of them she was the one paying the bills. Therefore, I had to manage somehow without a lunch. It was meant to be just temporary until they could afford to pay the monthly fee. In reality, I had been eligible for the meal for only two months out of ten during my school year.
You can trust me on this one, it was a pure torture. First, I wasn't even interested in being at school at all. I often had no breakfast to eat so I would remain hungry most of the morning, and then as soon as the lunch break began, the smell of cooked food would fill the entire building, making me even hungrier. The toll of the noisy school bell was an indication for all the hungry souls in the building to run downstairs and fill their empty stomachs. I guess it wouldn't surprise you if I told you that many times I had escaped from school at precisely twelve in the afternoon.
Those memories still give me chills every time I recollect them. To cut a long story short, the boy I once was had experienced the opposite to what was considered an average family. Instead of parental love, I'd learned hatred, fear, and violence. Instead of being understood and motivated to create great things in life, I was put down and humiliated. I harbored within me a lot of judgment towards them, which in reality only made me feel worse. I'd felt that my life was supposed to be a painful one, that perhaps God wanted it this way, and the best thing for me to do was to pray and hope that one day I would experience joy and peace in my life.
All those circumstances made me question literally everything. "Why is this happening to me? Is there a God? If so; why is he allowing all the discomfort to take place, and why me?" I guess some people go through similar philosophical questions in times of hardship or disappointment and in my case I thought that the answers flowing somewhere in the ether would remain always out of my reach.
On a more positive note, I was a friendly boy by nature. I wanted to be seen by others as a kind person despite my painful experiences. I would smile when needed in order to create the illusion that everything was all right. At least, this is how I used to be perceived by those who had no idea what was really going on in my personal life. I’d figured that this way was easier to communicate with others without having the pressure of explaining my personal affairs to them.
I even used to think how easy it was to deceive the world by simple acts of pretending that everything was just fine. One smile often did the job. I didn't want to share circumstances from my personal life with anyone only because I felt embarrassed.
Little did I know that during harsh times there is sometimes a small shining point of light which is entirely not easy to notice, but it has tremendous value. The tiny point of light is a life lesson, and it teaches something fundamental that will be beneficial only later in the future, sometimes only after many years.
Today, I could act smart and share with you the many wise things I’ve learned, but at that time, I was nowhere near to a glimpse of understanding that something terrible may be turned into something useful.
On the top of all those unfortunate circumstances, I was once called a sinner. During one desperate moment when I had no idea what to do to soothe my emotional pain, I’d entered a church hoping that the holy place would give me some relief. The church used to be open to the public during the day, so anyone could go inside the silent temple of God at any time and pray.
I wanted to believe that few prayers in a church would change the unfortunate circumstances at home, and that my father would quit drinking and stop the terrifying violence and my mother would give more attention to my fantasy world. Most importantly, I hoped I could find the love I was so dearly longing for.
That day after entering the church, I saw a man wearing a black robe with a massive golden cross hanging around his neck. I figured that this could be my opportunity to talk to someone who knew stuff, so I ventured to share my deepest secrets and concerns with him. As soon as I'd finished my shameful story and looked him in the eye, I had the strangest sensation in my body, telling me that I’d just done something wrong. I shouldn't have been so honest with that man.
Well, I told him about how much I'd suffered at home and that I was regularly truant. I told him that I felt like nobody cared about my feelings. I hoped to receive some positive advice or anything that would make me feel good. Instead, the priest told me with gruffness in his voice that I was born a sinner and now I had to pray and show remorse for my sins.
“Young man, your suffering is rooted in the devil’s power. You must avoid situations when you are a receptacle to sinning and wrongdoing, and that includes opposing your parents and your teachers at school.”
“Erm, I know I don’t always listen to them but, I think they don’t understand me,” I stammered.
“They’re not here to understand or pamper you, their role is to raise you so one day you can go to work and live an independent life,” the priest muttered through the clenched teeth, growing red in the face. I felt surprised and disappointed by his hostile reaction towards me. He didn’t even try to cheer me up or hear me out from my point of view.
“I…I was hoping you could tell me why there is so much of evil, or at least why people are so cruel to each other?” I cried out, feeling my eyes well up with tears.
“It is all because the devil manipulated them; the devil manipulates everyone who turns his back to God. We all live in sin and we all have to pray for forgiveness so we won’t end up in hell.” The priest spooked me, rather than clarifying my confusion.
"I didn't do anything wrong to anyone… I don’t deserve it…I don’t understand anything out of it!" I said bitterly to the priest, feeling more disappointed than ever before. "Why would I be punished by God for something I hadn't done?"
"Do not question this son; it's not my fault that the world is like this."
The priest's response sounded like I had just crossed the line by asking what seemed like to me a simple question. I had my point, and as much as I saw the priest as a wise man being connected to God much more than myself, he would have his answer ready which in fact didn't explain anything at all.
‘So how am I a sinner?”
“Ah, so you think that you are the purest child in the whole world who doesn't sin at all? Every time you say a bad word out of anger it’s a sin. When you lie to your parents about something to avoid being punished it’s a sin. Not attending classes at school is also a sin, and not having your homework done on time is a sin as well! Now tell me, son; are you a sinner or not?"
The priest got a little agitated, and at that very moment, I had this strange sensation that I’d better agree with him, even though I felt otherwise.
"Maybe I am a sinner, but only according to you!" I sputtered, turned around on my heel, and walked away. That day was my last visit to the church.
Later that afternoon, I found myself in the park near my house. There was a small green hill covered with fresh grass. It gave off a pleasant aroma, which I loved to inhale with my mouth wide open. This was a place where, as long as the sun shone, I would sometimes spend time during my truants. I would just sit there and contemplate human existence in an innocent and childish way while staring at the clouds dancing above my head on a crystal blue canvas.
Sometimes I would play a game between the invisible force that was forming the clouds and myself. The rules were simple; the invisible artist would make a cloud formation of any kind on the blue canvas, and I had to guess what that was. The "artist" often created faces, or animals, or even sometimes angel-like creatures similar to the ones I had seen on TV. I liked to consider those symbol-like images as some kind of messages which only I could see. I didn’t like to think of them as a cluster of random puffs of steam. Even when a cloud was similar to nothing I’d still forcefully give it a meaning. I would liken some of them to a potato or even a doughnut.
All I wanted in that time was to "fly high in the clouds" and dream of pretty much anything that felt good. When I was playing with the clouds then, I would visualise myself being rich, living in an elegant villa with a substantial garden, and playing with my friends or pet animals. There would be a mountain of all kinds of gadgets that I’d seen in shops but never had the chance to play. I was longing for true happiness and I was carefree. Those imaginary dreams pulled me into that blissful state. It was all about living for the moment as if tomorrow would never come.
No matter how much I would daydream and fantasise about a world which existed only in my head, I always had to return home and face the drama of my parents drowning in their own juicily-selected hateful words. Their disagreements echoed throughout the entire house.
If each word they frantically threw at each other had a different colour, and each bluntly chosen sentence was of a different shape, the whole house would look like the most evil abstract painting imaginable. It was a cave of psychopaths.
Luckily for me, they were sometimes too busy fighting to notice that I had even entered the house. I would take the opportunity to sneak into my little hideout, which was made of large cushions and some random boxes. The structure was connected to a bookstand where the bottom shelf remained empty; I used it to gain extra space. Once inside, I would pray for silence.
That day, after returning home from the park, I'd heard a sound of glass breaking in the living room. The pieces of the broken bottle bounced off literally every single item that was in that room while falling down like a hailstorm, destroying everything on its way. Only later did I realise that the bottle was full of red wine, and that my father happened to be the artist. He had tossed the whole thing right at the ceiling, painting the room in rather fancy red dots.
“Stop it! You are a psychopath! I’m calling the police!” Mother’s voice followed her body as she ran around the furniture in anger.
I had only one thought in my mind: “Run!” But as much as I wanted to teleport myself to some safe place, the fear kept me so paralysed that I felt like a rock. I had even forgotten to breathe for a while, so I guess my body naturally took charge of the situation. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was an intense blast of a wind coming from an open window which literally hit my face, went straight into my chest, and revived my senses.
It was like a gift from the God to let the fresh air into the house and dilute the stench of digested alcohol. Unfortunately, that wasn't the end result of my father's artistic expression. After several minutes he'd decided to have some more fun and play a juggler. His implements of choice were some eggs from the mostly-empty fridge.
In the meantime, my mother managed to run away, I guessed to our neighbor’s house, in an attempt to not only hide but also to gain an ally in the old lady leaving next door. That was my mother’s hideout during such scenes.
Now the entire room not only had some fancy red velvet dots spread equally across the walls; yellow blots appeared to give the whole artistry a profound finish. Night had fallen. The rueful house turned into a bear’s cave. My father slept peacefully on his armchair, snoring and wheezing as if nothing had happened.
During that time, my mother returned home to check if I was fine. She hadn’t realized that I was home during my father’s clownish, drunken performance.
I was already in my bed, covering my face with my old blanket, trying to stop shivering with fear.
“Deon, are you alright?” she asked me loudly, knowing that the snoring bear would not hear a thing. I lowered the blanked from my face.
“I’m fine, he didn’t see me, I was hiding in my spot.”
“That’s good, that’s very good. I hope the situation will change soon.”
“I’m going to sleep at Mrs. Goldwin’s house tonight. Everything is covered in wine and food here anyway. Good night,” she said hurriedly, and left.
I pulled the blanket back over my face and tried to sleep. But my thoughts were racing. “Why? How? When? How long?” Questions bombarded my tired brain, keeping me awake for at least one more hour.
Suddenly, after a while, something strange happened. I heard a definite woman's voice softly whispering to me.
“Deon, now you fall asleep and forget what you’ve heard and what you’ve seen today. Just think of it as a bad dream; just imagine that this has never happened. It will be better this way. Now you just sleep.”
I took the blanket off my face as fast as I could and looked around, but there was nobody in the room. It wasn’t my mother’s voice either; she was already asleep at the neighbor’s house. "I'm sure I've just heard a woman's voice telling me to fall asleep," I said to myself, stunned.
I closed my eyes, and after a few seconds I heard the sweet, comforting whisper again. "It will be better this way, now sleep." A moment later I'd fallen in the arms of Morpheus and drifted away into my dreamland where worries or fear don’t exist, where everything is bliss and harmony.
The next morning, I remembered everything from the previous day. The house still looked like a bomb had gone off in it. But I also remembered the soothing woman's voice talking to me. Admittedly I was left confused at having heard a ghost. I kept thinking of the sound for the next few days, but I ended up with no conclusion.
Six years passed by and the hostile situation in my house seemed to have no end. The pathetic tune played the same dramatic choir of lost souls on a regular basis. By that time my father had found a job in a warehouse, so our financial situation had improved. In the meantime, I have to admit that I had progressed in my education. I would attend most of my classes, and I had a place to be away from home, but I did my best to not give my parents any reason to bother me for my marks.
After school I kept myself occupied by doing all sorts of part-time jobs. I earned money, but never enough.
One day, I was hired at a local pizza house where I was trained as a pizza maker. My role was pretty much to stand on my feet in one place and throw around twenty different types of ingredients on pizza bases right after they had been covered with a canned tomato sauce. Once the pies were done, I would place them in the large oven right next to me for a couple of minutes to allow them to bake. That's it. It was that simple!
But it wasn't as simple as that to me. I was becoming more and more tired from the monotony of the daily tasks. I worked there for four hours a day, five days a week. Eventually I would quit my pizza job when I felt burnt out, only to find myself in another pizza job couple of months later when I needed the cash.
One day I asked my boss about his opinion on how to make money in a relatively short time.
“Jack, what do you think are some good ideas for a business that will bring some good money in a short period of time?”
"Hey, young man, what do you want to achieve right away? There are no miracles in life; it takes time to get to where you want to be. Live like a good man and work hard."
His advice sounded very suave, and as much as I wanted to live the way he'd suggested, I couldn't. That man was very passionate about making pizzas, running a pizza business, and having a pizza every day for lunch. That was his hobby, lifestyle, and a source of income all in one. For me, that was long hours spent on my feet, tossing bits of food on round pies and feeling frustrated, counting the small banknotes on a payday. Additionally, the aroma of pizza got on my nerves and made me retch.
A couple of months later, I'd quit the whole pizza business and I never again wanted to work in the service industry.
During breaks in between jobs, I had developed a fascination for nature. I loved to be in nature on a regular basis, but living in a metropolis narrowed my choices to parks and small forests on the fringes of the city. Those village-like areas not only calmed my worrisome thoughts but gave me a sense of tranquillity.
They were my favourite places to go and dream about a life that I’d never had. One day, I went to a forest just outside my town. The smell of pine trees combined with the sound of chirping birds gave me a genuine feeling of bliss. It was literally like crossing from one world to another where the rushing crowds were replaced by enigmatic trees, and the suffocating puffs of pollution coming from cars magically turned into an aroma of organically clean air. I found a place to sit near wild ferns and began my ritual of daydreaming.
At the beginning it was all about letting go of dominant thoughts such as where I lived, what I did for a living, and what I wanted to do to feel better. After several moments I’d visualize my dream home. It was spacious and bright, with panoramic windows. I’d imagine the house right there in front of me, among those tall trees. There was a pond to the right of the house with a rowing boat parked on the bank. I didn’t go inside; instead, I wanted to admire the outside view along with its surrounding courtyard. I thought that I had created in my mind a perfect combination: a modern looking, eco-friendly place to live in the middle of the wilderness.
My dream home didn’t look the same every time I dreamt of it. The vision kept changing depending on my whim. The colour of the walls on the outside varied from orange to white or even light blue. The shape of the windows also wasn’t the same at times. However, there was always one fundamental feature which appeared in all of my fantasies. The wild nature always followed and tenderly surrounded my dream home.
There was a significant connection between me and fauna and flora, a relationship which no human could break. There was this somewhat unexplainable style of communication between us whereby we would exchange our appreciation for each other without speaking a word. I couldn’t explain rationally how I communicated with nature, but perhaps I was simply grateful for the fact that it existed. In return I’d always received a feeling of freedom. If I had to imagine what freedom looked like, it would be something like a gigantic, strong eagle cruising effortlessly among the tree tops with me sitting right on the top, resting my palms on its wings. The very same sense of freedom allowed me to clear my mind and cut through a web of undesired emotions and put me right in my imaginary world where everything was possible. During those moments I didn’t care about the huge amount of money I’d need to build or buy the house of my dreams. I didn’t consider whether I’d ever be able to afford it or in how many years my fantasy would become a reality. In those moments, it somehow existed, and those moments were priceless.
I had kept my adventures as a secret throughout my entire life, not just to avoid being ridiculed but also because I had never met anyone who showed a decent interest in spending long hours in the forest.
As a teenager, I had been spending a lot of my spare time visiting all kinds of nature, including mountains, lakes, and rivers; however, forests and being surrounded by trees were my favourite places to go to. I am saying this right now because when I look back on my past, those were some of the best days I remember.
At the age of twenty, I found myself struggling to comprehend the system I’d never even signed up for but that I had to be a part of. My stay in this world was becoming more and more disappointing. There was no time and often no will to play anymore. There was no huge house I could live in happily and I had never travelled across the world. In fact, I hadn’t even travelled outside my country.