Sometimes I wonder who I would be if life had dealt me different cards… if I had of grown up in the one place or stayed at the one school, if I was not bullied, if I had not crossed paths with the people I did. Today I dug up some old songs I used to play on the piano when I was younger. With these songs came memories from those days, washing over me like ripples through the lake. It was my first year of high school at a Catholic college for girls and the school took us to stay at Phillip Island Adventure Resort. I was down by the lake with some other girls, and we were instructed to build a raft using some pipes, ropes, and planks of wood. After building the raft using our amature skills, we were to test it. We nervously set off into the water on our shonky raft praying it would stay intact; we didn’t want to sink, especially as none of us were wearing bathers. The whole exercise was a perfect analogy of what the first year of high school is all about. Like the pieces of the boat, we were all, more or less, scattered, trying to form bonds, coherent groups and a coherent sense of self. Over the years, most of us would eventually find our place, find a group of friends and the security that comes with this, and grow in confidence. We would set off from the shore and complete our transformation into butterflies, spreading our wings and taking off into the world. I feel like, somewhere, I have missed out on this. While others around me sail into the horizon, I have barely left the shore as my boat keeps falling apart. By the time I reached high school, I had already been to four different schools and my self-esteem had been annihilated. I was also bullied at this school which led me to move again in year nine. When I look at photos of myself, it’s as though my colours have been washed away. It’s as though a part of me has died. To this day I feel like an outsider. I feel like no one really knows me. I feel like I wear many different uniforms. I feel fragmented, lost, confused, unsure of myself. I feel like a butterfly trapped in a cocoon. Or, as Anneli Rufus puts it, a dud popcorn kernal or bonsai tree.
June 3, 2018 at 1:31 pm
You have an incredible gift for words. Even when writing of grief and sorrow you convey them with poetry and meaning. I find that I both hesitate to read your posts for worry of my heart breaking yet I look forward to reading your words.
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June 4, 2018 at 5:52 am
Yes, the desire to move beyond the horizon. We all have it. It separates us from the other animals. Being able to conceive of something further than we have already gone.
Maybe you have traveled further than you think though. You did create this space after all. What else might you have created?
June 4, 2018 at 6:35 pm
A ship in the harbor stays safe
But that’s not what ships are for
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