DISCLAIMER: Let me begin by saying that this is not an ‘I went to America to find myself’ post nor is it a ‘new year new me’ post. Because to be quite frank I’m still the same sarcastic arsehole I’ve always been if not a little more so now, plus I continue to battle with the desire to high five at least 3 humans in the face on a daily basis as well as suffering from a severe case of resting bitch face.
Just to prove a point, this is nursery picture of myself aged just 2.
So, yup still the same Chantelle.
Now that we have cleared that up, get comfortable and let us begin.
If you had asked me prior to my American Adventure what I have planned for myself after, I would have recited a comprehensive account about how I will return home, obtain my Honors degree, get a post-graduate job, manage something, own something, house, marriage, kid’s yada-yada-yada.
Truth is, all that’s just a fairy-tale at this stage, now of course those of you who tick a higher age bracket to myself will find this comical that of course at 23 you don’t have your life planned out. But honest and true to the good Lord himself, I was sure I had it together!
When I think about the number of people that said to me; ‘a year isn’t a long time’ and ‘not much will change in a year’ and ‘everything will be pretty much the same when you get home’, well that’s a lie!
Everything’s different not just in me but in the people at home. Stay with me for this part, but this is how I see it;
Our lives are our universe and in that universe we are the earth. Everyone in our lives, friends, family, acquaintances, whoever, they are like the other planets they orbit around us forever connected, forever moving. Well I’ve been out of orbit for 6 months now and it’s not like everyone else has stopped to wait, no far from the case, they’re still in orbit, still moving, still progressing, still growing and all of that is change!
My sister has left to travel the world for 6 months and no one can tell me she will come back the same, just as I won’t come back the same. My brother would have completed his first year at university, a character building experience, again he won’t be the same kid brother I left behind. With all three of us exploring different ends of the earth, that leaves my parents with an empty nest, something they are likely to get used to by the time we all return home.
I’m more than aware that I am only half way through my time here, but I can’t help but think about where I fit into at home and whether or not I even really want to fit back in to what I now view as a mundane routine of studying, working, being broke and wishing things.
Let me explain myself,
Like Wendy in Disney’s Peter Pan, at my sweet 16 I considered myself grown.
I was working full-time, making money, paying bills and somewhat ‘living’ in between, in the 7 years following, not much really changed.
To me, my friends and others my age were like ‘Peter Pan’ enjoying their teenage years in Neverland, with little to no regard for growing up and I don’t say that in a negative way because in reflection I should have been the same.
Just as the movie goes, Wendy was reluctant to visit Neverland, just as I myself was reluctant to come to America, however I have come to enjoy my time here beyond my expectation and don’t really want to leave.
Hence my ‘Wendy Complex’, I was convinced that I had surpassed the phase in life where I craved the excitement of a night out or the desire to travel and discover new things. Fundamentally I was wasting my best years, planning for my pinnacle years just like Wendy Darling.
Now, as we all know in the end Wendy decides to return home and comes to accept that she must grow up, therefore I have to decide whether my Wendy complex is temporary or am I back at the beginning of planning for forever ?
Or is there an even bigger plot twist, where I realise I need to grow up and stop searching for life advise in Disney movies.
Nahhhhh course not!
Think of all the joy you’ll find when you leave the world behind and bid your cares goodbye,
you can fly
you can fly.’
– Peter Pan