Happy with a touch of sadness

This story has to happen… I started in July after visiting friends from a former life in Canada. In November I was talking to a new friend in  South Africa. She was feeling very insecure, very unhappy with her life. We all are at this stage at one point. But beautiful red poppies grow in disturbed earth.


A lot of my holidays are visits to see friends. I am blessed having friends living in all corners of the world. Of course, it helped having lived on 3 continents too. My early twenties were definitely the best years, the party years, the years without a worry. Of course I did not know it then, as I did have my struggles moving to different countries, dealing with immigration issues, looking for a job, moving to another apartment, … But I was only responsible for myself. I truly lived from day to day. Or from party to party! But I built some very strong friendships. People I eventually lost contact with as there was no email or Facebook at that time. Just good old fashioned postal mail and the telephone.

Often I wonder: What have I done with my life? I have made mistakes, quite a few of them. But they are part of my path of life. I am where I am now, because of those mistakes. When I think back to 1989, I should have accepted that job offer as a marketing manager for the head office in Montréal, but I wanted to stay in Toronto… And I didn’t get the work permit I needed.
In a whim, I decided to move to the French Riviera (thanks to Dirty Rotten Scroundels!) where eventually I would meet the father of my children. That of course is the major event in my life. My kids. I cannot change that. They just fill my heart with this special kind of love. Raising them on my own has been hard. So often I just wanted someone to lean on, to share it all with me. I still do, and I know it will not happen. That is my sadness. But my happiness is having two lovely children, as a friend who cannot have kids, pointed out to me. She has the happy marriage. And the career.
Then back to Belgium, the place I never wanted to be again. Still, many positive things have happened here.  I have finally found my passion, doing creative work. Wild flowers grow anywhere, and will not be stopped!


Is Canada still home for you?, one friend asked. As it was very much home in 1990. Mmmm, I had to think about that. But 3 weeks later, I could say: “Yes it still feels like home.” As an eternal traveler, home is where my friends are.

I have two beautiful children. I am finally taking my design work seriously, and trying to make a career out of it. I love what I am doing!

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?”
Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet

ipod may 108

 I am truly happy, with a touch of sadness.


P.S. If you have been following my blog: on the 24th of December (I really did not want to postpone the appointment anymore) my neurologist told me there is no growth on my spine. I cried from happiness. All that tension from the weeks before just flowed out of me!


About Claire

As an eternal traveler and restless soul, I am always searching for ways to design my life. I have lived and worked in 7 different countries, and traveled to many more. Discovering new places, new people is what I love. My favourite thing is checking out local supermarkets for food products, have a taste of the local cuisine, and look at the arts & crafts shops. Of course a bit of sightseeing (historical, cultural, pure design, artistic,...) is a must too. Inspired to work with semi-precious metals, wood and other recycled materials, I have turned my creative energies towards craft based design, setting up a home and workshop in the countryside. Appropriately, My name means Hope. "Hope is the dream of a soul awake" is the personal statement. With Eternal Traveler - Design your life! I aspire to create a creative environment for functional art and life design. And with this reach out to like minded people.
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2 Responses to Happy with a touch of sadness

  1. Susan says:

    Dear Claire
    This is a very inspiring post. We have all made wrong decisions in our lives, but they are made and then become part of where we go next. The secret, I suppose, is to accept them and make the most positive result we can.
    And I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to hear the good news from the neurologist – what a perfect way to start the new year!
    With love from Susan

  2. Claire Claire says:

    Thank you Susan! Yes, I do try and see the positive in everything that happens. I definitely believe it has made me a better person. The secret is also to accept the sadness as part of your happiness.

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