Sunday, 12 July 2009

Popular Wisdom

It has been an unusual weekend of gathering wisdom from the most unlikely of sources. One which began as my flight landed at Adelaide Airport on Friday evening. I had been conferencing in Brisbane the previous week and was undoubtedly weary. But the emotional turmoil resulting from seeing families travel together and unaccompanied travellers get embraced by kith and kin cannot be explained through fatigue. I was grateful for the professional opportunities I had thus far received, but at what cost? No one told me there was a sacrifice involved. Or that it entailed such a degree of self-reliance.
I have always craved the independence I now (almost) have, so why the hollowness? Well, while contemplating all of the above the following Saturday, I accidentally began watching The Princess Diaries, something I would not announce on an academic profile. Then there was the penultimate scene where the much-flawed and drenched character played by Anne Hathaway declares to a regal audience the reason she chose to take up the 'princess's job'. She said it was because this time it wasn't about her, but the others who could potentially benefit from the smooth carrying out of her duties. My scepticism about aristocracy and chick flicks aside, this is just the piece of advice I needed at that point. Settled or otherwise, I was not going to make my parents or friends or students any happier by drowning in melancholy.
Then there came the astrological column in the local daily suggesting Aquarians had a once in a lifetime opportunity to let go of the past. Again, potentially cliched, but it meant a lot to me in context. This happens to be a time when a lot of old tangible and intangible 'things' are biting the dust. I am going to choose to feel happy about the new opportnities this presents, as well as the space this creates in my life for hitherto unexperienced experiences. I also need to forgive myself just as I have forgotten and forgiven others. As I was worrying about the ghosts of persons past, I got the following message from a friend - "There's no bad karma of yours that hasn't been offset by their's. Mediaeval etiquette: It is bad manners to serve a lady while you are wearing a helmet". On that note, I decided to try and shed my emotional pessimism, work-related overdrive and general lack of exuberance. No point in attempting to be a supergirl when it hard enough being a 'normal' one. Breathe...