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Hélène Marquer - cofounder of Village de Pourgues. Hélène studied sociology and management of media and then realised she couldn't sit sticking on a chair no more longer. She then took the videocamera to make reports about permaculture (for UCIT), democratic education and other subjects she loves. She's now settled in Pourgues, looking for her inner artist. In the village, she has fun by organising weddings, festivals, sewing yourt's hessians, pillows and dancing as often as she can !
My name is Hélène. I'm 31.
Last year I was almost 30 when I landed with my blue Twingo in Pourgues. The project started one month before.
- almost one month sleepless where I was always seeing myself in dream dragging overflowing suitcases, plenty of garbage on a train station platform
-a month of dilemnes « will I come back to make this video in Rennes… as I will have moved down there », « Gosh, shall I continue or not ? Should I stop ? or not ? »
- one month being jealous and supposing « my boyfriend is there, he doesn’t talk to me a lot on the phone, it’s maybe over, or it may be over when I get there. How will it be if we get separated ?
- one month of fears, fears FEARS feaaaaaaarrrrssss….fears !!!
I decided to let go. Stop everything I was doing, and just go for it !
Inch allah ouch ouch caramba! Here I am freedom, autonomy, adventure !! I take my Twingo and go for real, this time !!
I drove for 9 hours. Once I arrived, I was sweaty but eager to discover this eldorado of absolute freedom. Facing the montains I said to myself : « That’s it. My road stops here. Because here I can do what I want ! No more obligations, pression of what I should do. Here I do not have to answer to anyone ». And then I quickly realize that it was not so easy…
" What am I doing here ? Vs "Oh freedom !!! "
Before coming to the village, I lived in Rennes in a social housing on the 7th floor, and I felt almost bad when I staid at home watching the sky between two video editings while the apartments around me were empty. In Pourgues, we all made the choice to stop what we were doing before, to be there and experience. I felt relieved to no longer be an alien swimming countercurrent the well-established rhythm of the alarm clock - breakfast - work - back - sleep - weekend and day off. I had now the right to choose my pace, my activities, in short to exist without having a question like: " What is your job ? » ringing out in my ears.
At a first glance, do what you want seems simple. My first days in Pourgues were relaxing. I spent my time admiring the landscape, drawing, making origami paper birds, kissing my boyfriend, eating, sleeping. A pure delight. But at the same time tons of questions emerged : who am I? What am I useful for ? Why am I here exactly? Give myself a break was a real relief and at the same time I had to face up emptiness. "Yes, here nobody will tell you what is good for you! »
Taking the easy option
After a few weeks (or days?) of pure idleness, I began feeling unsure. My boyfriend was tracing his path, super productive, making bricks of mud every day. Mac Gyver would not have done better. No matter how much he said to me, "Take your time, my dear, enjoy having time for you ... ", I began being impatient inside. "I have to do something, I must make myself useful, I must, I must, I must. " So I went into the phase: taking the easy option. "Since I'm here, it’s probably best if I am usefull in something in this project. I have skills, I should make the most of them." The ultimate easy option: get back to one’s old habits, usually those well acquired because hammered during school or work. Stay in your comfort zone: in what you know how to do. This is exactly what's going on for the majority of people in the working world. Well done Hélène, what an innovation! So I started writing reports, proposals, organize meetings in order to structure things.
Do I really want this ?
After several meetings and actions, I was happy to feel useful, I had taken my place, filled a certain role. But this did not make me that happy. I began missing coloring and doing origami paper birds. Worse, I started feeling rancor towards those who, in my opinion, did not do enough things for the community. Cleaning the kitchen twice a week at night got me angry.
"But, here, you are responsible for you, darling, you can not expect anything from others! So why are you doing it ?"
I had to ask myself the right questions. What motivates me to do what I do? What motivates me to clean up tonight? To attend this meeting?
I started investigating (just like if I was digging in my interior gallery with a small flashlight) and the answers started appearing in the ceiling: I want to do things with the others, I want them to like me, I want to be nice to them, be helpful, do well (because I need people to love me and find me great), find and take my place (because others will never notice me otherwise), be perfect. And then, my fears appeared. "If I do not stay for cooking the others will criticize me and reject me from the project. », « If I don’t go to that meeting, who else will do ? Nothing will happen. ».
Little by little I had to take my fears and my desires in hand. I had to to bury some of them in sand with a small wooden cross. And then I made the following observation:
"You do not do things with sincere motivation. Accept being alone in what drives you rather than gathering to something that does not fulfils you. Accept to assume what you really want at the risk of displeasing. Accept that there may be no one here who totally shares what you love and this is not a problem. Accept that you may have actions that will have consequences that you can not control. But above all, try to really do what you want. Observe what guides your actions. Make choices in this direction. "
So I started sewing, carving wood, gardening, cooking vegan desserts, do foot prints, clown or whatever. I kept on doing some things to give me a good conscience or sometimes because they seemed useful to me, of course. But I tried to give myself time to see what really drives me. I had to try several things to ask myself the following question: is it something that drives me deeply ?
At that time I wanted to taste everything, like crunching everything in an unlimited buffet, even if that meant to come close to indigestion.
The butterfly effect
The contours of "I do what I want" were then drawn. Little by little, I discovered what really drives me. I see it as the flapping of wings of a butterfly that paces my heart, some times more than others, which gives me the smile and the joy of being me, no matter the rest and what others think. I have been renouncing for several months. Those are mourning that I take care of soothing with love balm. At the same time, they are also releases. No, that's not the way I choose, because I choose another one. I'm also trying regularly to slow down my pace because I quickly wanted to complete my agenda to feel exist even in an ecovillage like ours.
I have the impression that we have been told so many times that "in life we do not do what we want", that we have this sentence well engraved as a nail as hard to remove as Excalibur. Do what you want becomes a quest for the Grail that requires dismantling everything that has been buried in our heads since our first steps in school, and in this non easy going society. By taking this path, I feel that little by little I free myself and I get closer to myself. I will not tell you that it's easy everyday and that I never fall back into my biases, but I try, little by little to become who I want.