Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The book of simples

When I was about twelve or thirteen and about to enter another special level of a complicated existence (those first steps into womanhood) my dad - the ever so blunt person that he is - offered me a book about making daily life simpler. Now this book (whose title in English completely eludes me) became a bible to me. I devoured it page after page, again and again. I underlined it and memorised entire sections of it. It had all sorts of cute little ideas to save money and time and appreciate all the blessings in your life, big and small. And to me, prisoner of my own age, it was like looking through a window into my future life, into all the neat ideas I could incorporate into my mature and independent life (once I had one, that is!). I dreamed of following most of the book's suggestions, as soon as I could manage. All of this - it goes without saying - helped me envision a very wise and practical and independent future me (whom I still waiting to become...) and it became a sort of security blanket. It was alright if something happened to make me cry because I had my book and in the future - in a time when life would truly be my own - I would be that person. As soon as I could have my own place the book would be the first thing to be packed. Or so I thought.

Now, more than a year after I've moved in, I've thought about the book for the very first time in a few years. It wasn't the first thing to be packed nor was it even on the second wave of possessions to arrive chez nous. In fact, it's still in my old bedroom in the country I've left behind. And it amazes me that it never even crossed my mind to bring it. I guess I don't really need it anymore. Because I have new ideas and tips of my own and I have someone else to share everything with. I can still be the person who has a box of tissues full of carrier bags in the car or the person who fills the sink with steaming hot water when entertaining (so that the dirty dishes and pots and pans become easier to clean afterwards) and I still want to bring the book over, it's just not my bible anymore. I'm grateful for what it meant for me (a liferaft to keep me from drowing in the sea of my own despair and misery) but I'm also glad that I didn't even think of it during the whole moving in process (and Lord knows there was loads of time for it to pop into my head... over a year of it, in fact!). And maybe I'm closer to the person I've been wanting (and waiting) to become for such a long, long time. And ain't that a happy thought?

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