"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Friday, 8 June 2012

jennifer vs geraldine....

“But don’t forget who you really are. And I’m not talking about your so-called real name. All names are made up by someone else, even the one your parents gave you. You know who you really are. When you’re alone at night, looking up at the stars, or maybe lying in your bed in total darkness, you know that nameless person inside you…Your muscles will toughen. So will your heart and soul. That’s necessary for survival. But don’t lose touch with that person deep inside you, or else you won’t really have survived at all.” — Louis Sachar

Nice words for the weekend.  

Do you wish you had a different name?  Do you feel like your name really does belong to you?  I never used to feel close to my name, especially when I repeated it about 20 times in a row, it always sounded so strange (I was a strange kid).  I used to dream and play games in my head and always wanted to be called Geraldine. Weird.  My father had a younger cousin called Geraldine who lived in Kariba, Zimbabwe.  She came to Cape Town to study at UCT and lived with my grandmother (who lived over the road from us).  I was probably 10 years old at the time and Dalene and I spent a lot of time with my gran, so we saw a lot of Geraldine.  She was beautiful, had olive skin and the most beautiful smile. She played the guitar and was my hero.  I used to watch her getting dressed up to go out and she would put some of her very pale pink lipstick on my lips.  She wore a very musky perfume which she bought at the Hippie Market in town.  I loved her big earrings, bangles and hippy style dresses and shoes (like above).  I wanted to be her.  She was a free spirit with long, unruly hair (and I think she was a bit wild too as my grandmother had many sleepless nights during those years).  She graduated and moved on but always kept in touch with my grandmother.

When I travelled overseas on my own in 1980 to the UK, I looked her up and she invited me to come and stay for a couple of days (I had a parcel for her from my gran).  She had an Australian boyfriend and they managed a pub in London. A very dicey pub in an industrial area. I helped out for a couple of evenings but it was all men and rather rough so I had to head up to my room early as glasses got smashed and fights broke out.  

I was so looking forward to reuniting with her because she was always such fun and kind to me when I was young. However, after spending a couple of days with her my memories were shattered because she was pretty mean and nasty, she thought that I was keen on her boyfriend, she screamed and shouted at him and their staff and all in all it was a visit I wish I had not made.  I was homesick and being with her made me miss home even more. 

I made up a story and left 3 days earlier than planned and carried on my travels.

This was when I realised that people aren't always what you remembered them to be and that I did not want to be Geraldine anymore.  After all, Jennifer is a far nicer name than Geraldine.

1 comment:

  1. I've always HATED my name. I used to want to have my middle name - Elizabeth - as a first name (I fancied being a Beth) or to have the name that was mum & dad's other choice - Jessica. I've become more resigned to my name the older I've got, but still don't like it that much.