Posts Tagged ‘Reflection’

When we arrived at the bus station I was unceremoniously dumped on the pavement. “There’s no place for parking and we’re not going to be paying the extortionate rates they charge in centre city.” Mum got out the car and offered a caustic hug. I couldn’t be too surprised given my parents disapproval of my trip. I’d quit Uni at the Winter break to go in search of something bigger. I needed to explore and examine myself, remote from their judgement. In hindsight, I can’t help but think my parents were a bit jealous of my undertaking. It wouldn’t be for another year that I’d actually sit down and calculate the equation that was my parents life. (Married in June – my oldest brother born in December + devoutly catholic family) x 1960’s = Repressed parents forced to embark on a life less chosen.

“If you quit now you’ll never go back, you’ll never get a degree. You’ll end up like the rest of them, wasting your life,” barked mum at the time. By ‘the rest of them’ she meant my brothers… We all had quite a tumultuous relationship in our family, hardly Rockwellian. I think dad just grunted and went back to his can of ale. Well I’d proven her wrong. Over the next few years I would go back to Uni again, and again, and again. Despite the effort and more credits than any one degree is worth I still don’t have that damn piece of paper. It would have been significantly more cost effective to just have the shitty piece of parchment forged. Whether or not I’ve waisted my life, I think that’s still yet to be seen. Anyway the goodbyes had all been said already and there was nothing much left for me to do but… well leave. So I hoisted the backpack over my shoulder and cursed myself again about the upgrade.

As I entered the bus station I turned and watched my parents pull away. The glass panels of the automatic doors slid across my face and my own reflection stared back at me and I didn’t, rather couldn’t, recognize myself. It was true I had just had blonde streaks put in my hair but this unfamiliarity was not cosmetic. I can only describe feeling suddenly aware. Though looking back now I still looked like a child, the reflection that stared out at me from the glass, was, for the first time, an adult.

The sensation started in my neck, a vibration that resonated across my back and cascaded down to my toes. It was fear. I turned away from the glass and away from my past. It was then that I truly understood change, it scared the shit out of me and I loved it.