What I want to be when I grow up? Mmm…A pilot …or… a military doctor…I ran out of choices that I liked enough to admit I want to do and that I felt complied enough with the list of "things to be" when you grow up, the list that society has written in the fabric of its own flesh, a Doctor, an Architect and a Lawyer. That's it, everything else would mean you'd struggle through life and your mother would struggle to be proud in the midst of the social gatherings and crumble under peer pressure until financial capital or gain is attained in the hope of readdressing the situation and regaining some social standing.
Well, I never became a pilot or a military anything, what if I got it wrong? What if somehow I missed THE THING that I was supposed to do with my life? This thing that I was supposed to just know at the age of 16 when I still didn't work out my own body or what my little pinkie was for!
Years later I still don’t know what my pinkie is for and find myself forever struggling with this intrinsic urge to go somewhere, to find myself as the hippies would say, the need to get lost, the need to wander…maybe my calling is to be an explorer!
I would pack my backpack and bare essentials, lots of tampons since I seem to have my period every two weeks (what's the opposite of menopause?), a strong deodorant, cotton wear, a map (of the world), some money and other stuff that would save my life or at least make it as comfortable as possible then go into the wilderness. I’d walk and walk for days, stop off to set up my tent, cook some dehydrated food or live off the land where possible (I can’t hunt or fish to save my life and I am scared of cockroaches), I write my travel journal and think about life, wonder what my family are doing and if they understand what I am doing and why?
I want to get lost so badly, start new, I dream of this often and everywhere I look, I see what I take as signs, I want them to be signs, like a divine intervention guiding me somewhere I am supposed to be…Every time I open my cupboard I give a nod in the direction of my ginormous hiking boots as if to reassure them that I didn’t forget about them and that I was working on it, I put on my painful courts (they’re shoes with heels for you boys) that give me bunions of indiscriminate colour and shape, and wish it was time to ditch the heals and don my safe hiking boots again.
I took them out for a walk, I wore them to the cinema, I even went to watch “Wild”, then I went home to watch “Into the Wild” on dvd, then read snippets of other wilderness books and explorer tales, by then I was so enthralled with the idea and challenges of getting lost that I managed to force myself to watch the excruciating “The Island with Bear Grylls” and if you can watch that, you can probably do anything ...probably (you know …because it’s so shit)!
But then I'll miss facebook, I'll miss all the attention from friends and strangers, attention that is wanted and sometimes provoked and the likes we're all seem to be getting addicted to albeit in denial about, we crave them like a fix we have to score. I guess I will miss my comfort and my friends and my family, or will I?
Perhaps I am just using this as a pretext not to take the plunge and disconnect, because I know my parents will never understand why I feel the need to do it, my parents who I use like a shield from the eyes of God like he can’t see what I do because they’re my protection, I will be forgiven all sins because they’re my salvation, I often wonder if I didn’t have my parents would my faith be stronger? What would stop me from going where I want to go but not sure I want to go?
My friends will probably think I am attention seeking, then I feel guilty for things I didn't do as per usual (pathetic really), then will probably start doubting myself along with my motives, I will doubt myself like I do so many things and will give up and blame it on society.
Why do I feel so shackled and unfree? Forever struggling with choices! Does everyone else feel the same? We who proclaim our freedom, are we truly free? I am single (yes still), I have no responsibilities that I can’t shake off, no commitments I can’t break from, yet I feel like to make the move would be to let down so many people and the pangs of guilt would kill me slowly, so I sit miserably still to make others happy and forget my dreams and wants, afraid of upsetting or offending others whilst ignoring my own desires and feelings! Resenting myself instead of others in that giving, generous and modest way we’re brought up to be, the way that eats at you slowly until there is nothing left but bitterness and regrets of not packing up when I had the chance to.