Today I’m working on “Cinderella”. Contrary to what the title and obvious content may suggest, this is a very personal drawing.

When I moved back “home” after 19 years, I felt completely out of place. Like Rip van Winkle, I knew town and its surroundings, I knew the way and even many shops and companies, and yet everthing felt unfamliar and alien, because I was alone among strangers. Nearly all my old friends had moved away after High School as well and not come back. I missed my friends in Oss dearly and old acquaintances and friends wanted to meet me again. And even though I much appreciated their effort, I still felt out of place. Having been away from “home” for so long changes a person. And I felt changed. Different. My world had been so much bigger than just this hometown. It was hard to feel connected here.

Trying to fit in again, felt like trying on a toddler’s shoe. It no longer fit.

When I drew “Cinderella” I was struggling with the toddler’s shoe. Until I realised that my foot was going to fit it just as poorly as Cinderella’s stepsisters’ fit the glass slipper. It was time I started looking for new shoes…to start a new life here as I was now. Including all that I had come to be in 19 years away from “home”.

Since then two old friendships are carefully growing again and a few new friendships are evolving. It makes “home” feel a little bit more like home every day.