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Sunday, June 04, 2006 

Searching the Horizon

When I was really young my gran gave me a jewellery box. It was a sort of strange purple colour, but pretty. When I opened it there was a ballerina that popped up from a spring at the back, and she’d twirl to a twanging xylophone type music that sounded maudlin at best. You couldn’t see her features, the box wasn’t expensively made and I’m guessing they just couldn’t find a paint brush that was small enough to do justice to her features. I always imagined that she’d be crying though. I know that if I had my feet glued to a spring and had to dance every time such sad music came on, I’d cry.

I knew that she was beautiful too though. The music had a slightly ethereal quality to it, and for music like that you can only envisage the figure to be like Liv Tyler in Lord of the Rings; ghostly, but beautiful too. She’d have her hair whipping in the wind, face looking steadily into the distance, searching for something, maybe happiness. I had a dream of her too. I dreamt that one day she found her feet free, she could escape, lifting the lid of the box silently and running away into the dark to go and find what she’d spent so long looking for in the horizon. One day the box broke. The music just stopped playing, she stopped her faceless twirling, and while there was still the little plastic figure in a tutu there, I felt that its soul had fled. I kept the box for years and years longer than I really should have. It was broken, and started to get tatty. But I couldn’t throw it out, even with her soul gone; it felt like I was somehow not honouring her memory. A child can dream.

We’re all looking for something. We’re waiting for our princes to find us, for the time that it would be right to escape into the sunset; we’re hoping to find ourselves. And, over time, we find what we’re looking for. We get our chance to run, we escape, experience new places and people. We taste new cultures, and look in wonder at the beauty of everything we experience. We meet many princes in our travels, and realise that just because they’re princes, they aren’t always as wonderful as we first believe. And sometimes, they’re even better than we first suspected. We grow, gain knowledge, and one day realise that we are the person we were waiting, trying, to become. We learn wisdom, and we learn how little it is that we know.

Lots of people have helped me become who I am. And at least twice that will help me become better in future. My gran gave me everything that is good about me, and my mom taught me tolerance. My sister taught me that it’s easy to be duped and about ruthlessness. She also taught me the fragility behind even the hardest, strongest façade. My dad taught me the most probably. He taught me that creativity doesn’t equal riches, no matter how good you are. He taught me how to be an adult, and how to survive. He’s also taught me that those you believe to be infallible are rarely ever so.

My most recent lesson was Dave. He taught me that I have a heart. And, subsequently, taught me that it could be broken. He taught me that it’s possible to find joy in sitting inside a train station, he taught me to notice the stupid things that we normally overlook, and he taught me that even though sometimes we lose things and that it kills us when we do, it’s possible to be okay at the end of it. I was beginning to be scared that there wasn’t going to be a time when I would be able to look back without wincing, without reliving every single aspect in painful detail. But it is, I can, and next time I have my heart broken, it won’t be so horrifying because I’ll know that it’s possible to get through it all. I can survive, be happy, and I don’t need to be in a relationship for that to happen.

So, I stand before you now. The people who have taught me in the past can only watch from the sidelines now, they are no longer the major players. My childhood has come to a rather abrupt end, and I’ve got to go out into the world on my own and pretend to be an adult. I’ve got to wake myself up in the mornings, make my own breakfast, and walk out the door without anyone to wish me goodbye. I’ve got to take heed of the lessons taught me, and hope that they make me a decent enough human being to interact with others. And I’m scared that I’m not up to it. When I turned eighteen people made reference to me being an adult, then laughed. I know I’ll never grow up; I’ll always be a child in so many ways. But maybe I’m mature enough to be adult too when it’s important. Maybe it’s enough to be who I am and carry on anyway.

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This is a very insightful post. Seems to me you are well on your way to becoming an adult. In fact you have probably already surpassed most of us in that regard..

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About me

  • An albatross can fly for thousands of miles without getting tired. I've always thought that love is similar to flying, therefore we should aspire to be like the albatross.

    I don't know if I can do that. So far I haven't been so lucky. But one day I'll test my wings with someone, and flying won't be so hard after all. Or so painful.
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Save the Albatrosses


    * In 2001 one New Zealand fishing boat killed over 300 seabirds in just one trip, while fishing for ling.
    * Each year over 300,000 seabirds are killed by longline fishing.
    * Over the past 60 years some albatross populations have declined by 90%.
    * Annually around 10,000 albatross and petrels are caught in New Zealand waters alone.
  • Save the Albatrosses
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