“She was like a drowning person, flailing, reaching for anything that might save her. Her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life.”
Growing up on a small Caribbean island can be hard, especially with the mass broadcast of pop culture available on the media today. Having this exposure could be both a blessing and curse for the impressionable youth in such a society. Needless to say, I felt like I had been one of those impressionable youths. This is my story…
I was the first born into a family living in one of the more rural parts of Trinidad, as if the island wasn’t rural enough. I started my primary level education at the age of 4. In Trinidad & Tobago, we follow the British Education system (preschool > primary school > secondary school > university) as opposed to the system used in the U.S. Being the carefree, happy-go-lucky child that I was, I feel it is unnecessary to affirm that I was nowhere near the top of my class in academics. Actually, I wasn’t very good at anything in particular.
At the age of 5, I was presented with a younger sister. This meant that I was no longer the special one, or as we say here in trini, the “spoil child”.
After a fairly uneventful blur of childhood, I was in secondary school. And for all of you diehard believers in of the Breakfast Club ideology, I am living rebuff. I wasn’t athletic, involved in illicit activities or a basket case. I wasn’t pretty enough or popular enough to be a princess. And I certainly wasn’t smart enough in the right areas to be a brain. Hence, I was invisible.
As with every adolescent, I had wild aspirations and far flung hopes of making my mark on the world. At the age of 11 (form 1 of high school) I wanted to be an explorer, visiting distant lands and making spectacular discoveries. At the age of 13 (form 3 of high school), after becoming obsessed with CSI, I wanted to become a forensic pathologist like Ms. Boa Vista. After that, I imaginatively became a professional photographer, a journalist, a stay at home mum (school could be frustrating!) and a book author. By the time I came out of University, I had big dreams of becoming a marine biologist; the life out at sea was the life for me. This sometimes changed to a conservationist or someone working at the zoo.
I imagined myself living in a little bungalow, travelling the world and living life to the fullest while raking in a 5 figure sum every month (in TT$ of course :D). My harsh reality… I am 26 years of age, still living with my parents, work for the government and for a salary that just barely covers my needs. Hardluck.
I still have dreams of becoming like the heroines on the pages of the books I read.
“I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes. The dreamer of improbable dreams.” ~The Doctor, Doctor Who.
I have recently discovered that life is not over. I can still live. And while there is life I can not only hope and dream but achieve what I want to achieve and persue my wild and crazy aspirations. So now I metamorphosize. I will spread my wings and fly.