Last night on Facebook I came across a post by one of the people I follow. In it he asked the question “What was the first movie you went to see?” For me, I knew instantly what that movie was. I was instantly transported, back to the mid 1970’s and the salty smelling Cinema 2 at The Village Twin Cinema in Gosford. I could feel the carpeted red seats, and the thrill and excitement as the room went dark, and the screen lit up. I was instantly that four year old boy again who couldn’t understand why Mary Poppins was leaving and in the scene when she is floating away, I was that four year old little boy who stood up in the cinema and shouted out “bye bye Mary Poppins, come back soon.”
The story itself has become a thing of myth and legend in my family home. How I said goodbye to Mary Poppins and walked out of the dark obsessed with movies. How I went from typical 4 year old, to absolute silence while watching that movie and how I apparently even “shushed” the person next to me who was talking during the movie.
The need to shush has never changed. I still hate it when people talk during movies. I really dislike going to the movies with anyone else. I go alone. It is my escape, my time to sink into a world that is not mine. To live a journey and adventure I haven’t or won’t live in the real world. Funnily enough, it’s a place where I rarely like to explore the fantasy. That’s for books. Sword and sorcery movies usually leave me feeling meh.
As I’ve begun to recapture myself recently, I’ve found some joy in looking back like that. First times. First kiss, first movie, first “grown up” book I read and how it took me 3 months, but I was determined not to read “kids” books anymore. Wilbur Smith was the author. I can’t remember the title of the book but I do remember it had a blue cover, and started with a terrorist bombing of a plane. I’ve still got the book around here somewhere.
Anyway, back to the point. I’ve talked a lot about loss in here. About confusion, about the secret darkness I do not admit to in the real world. The crushing of my own creativity by myself. But last night, while answering that question on Facebook I felt a spark. Just a little one, a slight smile that didn’t really last past the writing of the answer. But it was a spark. It was a remembrance of times gone by and a 4 year old magically transported to a world on a silver screen.
That was where I decided what my life would be spent doing. I often wonder why I took the path of least resistance. A world I never wanted, yet was told was the right path for me. I can remember family telling me my choices were too hard. My writing a dream. My film career was not for me, it was for others. Things like that didn’t happen to us. I remember being told I was too “Gentle” to survive the industry. I choose to listen to that. To agree.
I’ve spent my entire life wanting one thing and yet doing the opposite and it wasn’t until recently that I found myself unable to “want” to be what everyone else wanted for me. This isn’t a post with a “realisation” or a dramatic announcement. It’s a post about recapturing the moment. About remembering where you were when you decided on a goal that has never left your side.
There’s something about turning 40 that gives people the strength to say ‘ F You’ to the doubters, and the doubts. When I turned 40 I was unemployed. Since then, I’ve stayed unemployed. During the time from August to now I’ve had well meaning conversations about retirement, and how am I going to afford to do so, and what am I doing with the rest of my life?
Conversations that mean well, but make me want to tear my own head off. I’m 40, not 70. Retirement – realistically in this country – is probably 35 years away. I’ll worry about it “someday” lol.
There is no point in blame. Not blaming yourself or anyone else for the consequences of the choices you make in your life. You make them. You live them. If the life you live is not the one you want only you can change that. I’ve waited my whole life “someday” to arrive. For that moment when all would be aligned and the time ripe with perfection to relaunch into a life I wanted.
Stopping smoking has taught me many lessons. One of which is “someday” never arrives. It arrives only when you make it so. There will never be a perfect moment to change. There will never be a perfect moment to over throw civilisation and play the fiddle as your version of Rome burns.
The time is now. If you are ever to make a change, it starts with one step. I’m not that four year old little boy anymore. I know Mary Poppins didn’t really fly over the rooftops of Victorian England, off to save another family. I know she went on to sing on top of an Austrian Mountain while pretending to be a novice nun.
But that I can remember that little boy, remember his excitement and his awe at what unfolded. That’s the someday I can use to power the changes I want to make – and am actually making – in my life now.
Life doesn’t end until your breathing stops. I am not trapped in a world I don’t want. I’m in the perfect position to rebuild that world into one that better reflects the person I always wanted to be. Whether it works or not, whether my writing is seen on the silver screen or seen by no one but me, no longer matters.
Someday belongs to the future. All I have to work with is now. And if Mary Poppins can fly with an enchanted Umbrella, then so can I.