BOOK ONE: THE BEGINNING OF ENDS
…The Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step. Lao Tzu
The decision to have a child changed my life forever. The year was 1982, and I was seventeen-and-a-half years old. I could have done much better in school the previous year, but looking back, circumstance didn’t really allow it. The only lesson I really enjoyed was Sociology, as it was the only subject that seemed relevant to real life; the only subject that attempted to decipher and understand it, a thing that was very important to me.
When I left school that summer with my one ‘O’ Level, I was not at all sure what I wanted to do in regard to a career. None of the adults around me at this time were available to actively explore that side of things with me, and so it was more or less left up to me and the school to decide what my future would look like. During the summer break, I half-heartedly decided to enrol on a two-year Community Studies course. I thought that a course in the caring professions would best suit me, especially if it involved working with children. I loved taking care of children.
To begin with, the course did hold my attention. The college was newly-built and I enjoyed the experience of being part of a new endeavour and a new group. I also enjoyed the new relationship that was to be had with teachers – more equal, friendly and respectful – and I really liked the course tutor, Leila. She was warm, cuddly and motherly. I also liked the fact that being at college was entirely my own affair, which gave me a sense of freedom that I enjoyed.
However, at times that freedom, that responsibility, brought with it a foreboding cloud of uncertainty and feelings of insecurity, especially about the future. Where would the future lead me? Would it take me to very difficult places, like my past had? These fears, which were more unconscious at the time, scared and overwhelmed me, so much so that by the end of the first year, my enthusiasm began to wane, bringing with it a loss of concentration, and not long afterwards absolute boredom. It was an old, familiar angst-filled boredom, and resultant dissociation, born out of extreme dissatisfaction, that often saw me falling asleep during lessons.
I quite enjoyed those little naps, though it was of great embarrassment to me when Leila pulled me up on it. She was concerned that I wasn’t enjoying the course anymore, and wondered if there was something else that would better hold my attention. But, as bored as I was, and as lost as I felt at times, there wasn’t really any other place during the day where I felt relatively safe and could comfortably be, let alone peacefully fall asleep. So, I tried my hardest not to sleep in class, but it continued to be a struggle.
The only subjects that kept my full attention were those to do with childcare and development. It was during these lessons that certain ideas began to come to mind, and, I guess, started to better fill the uncomfortable spaces of my time. Those thoughts pertained to the desire to become a mother and have a child, all of my own…
Peace & Love,