Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nicolas Cage, for the last time, stop talking

Column 12. Anne Frank: forever an inspiration.

“I’m blessed with many things: happiness, a cheerful disposition and strength. Every day I feel myself maturing, I feel liberation drawing near, I feel the beauty of nature and the goodness of people around me. Every day I think what a fascinating and amusing adventure this is! With all that, why should I despair?”

These are not my words. They come from the pen of a 14-year-old Anne Frank, written from an attic in Amsterdam, where she and her Jewish family were in hiding for two years after fleeing the horrors of Nazi occupation during World War II.

They should be my words. But instead, mine often adopt a slightly different tone.

“I know I’m blessed with many things but you know what really pisses me off? Slow drivers, bad advertising, early mornings, rednecks, sand in my bed, Nickleback, losing, disloyalty, banks, Nicolas Cage’s voice, and this goddamn breakup.”

Where do I get off letting Anne Frank trump me in the optimistic stakes?

I am days from my last shift and less than a fortnight off leaving the country indefinitely.
Excited? Nope, shitting myself.

On the surface, my main issues are the fact that I still have to sell my car and that this nightmare of a separation I am going through is yet to be finalised. How is that taking so damn long by the way?

Moving on. Despite these lingering loose ends, I am successfully calming myself through deep breathing and the constant reminder that I WILL sell my car, even if it is post departure, and the separation WILL happen, even if cross-continent technology has to come into play.

But what’s really freaking me out right now is the looming giant leap outside my comfort zone. Never have I embarked on such an independent life-change. My relocation to a new city for university was independent, but it was three hours from home and I moved in with about 2000 friends on tap. Campus life rocked my world.

The two following moves were both shared with my now ex-boyfriend. The second was a move to a city far closer to home, where I knew many people and had a job lined up. No wuckers.

Flying to Peru, alone, with no paid work in the pipeline…what am I doing?

When I decided to take this next step in my life, my dad asked me whether I was doing it because I wanted to or because I wanted to get away from it all.

I told him it was the former but, the truth is, the two options he threw my way are one and the same. I am doing this because I want to get away from it all.

And I’m getting away to a place which, I hope, will shove a little perspective in my face. As The Four Seasons, The Carpenters, Gloria Estefan, Tom Jones, the girls from Beverly Hills 90210, and many other artists sang, ‘breaking up is hard to do’. But, compared to a life lived in Peruvian poverty, or hiding from religious persecution in an attic, I’m on a pretty good wicket.

That’s easy to forget but so important not to. Too bad I have a terrible memory.

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