‘Changing Times’ Column 2006 – 2007

Busting at the seams with too much food, not enough water, too much drink, not enough sleep, too much time on my hands; or is it self-harming, as the little child in me reacted to abandonment by my ’partner’ as she took three weeks off to be with her family?

More like an (inner) child in a sweet shop!

My three weeks have been full of a different kind of love. I’ve had more time for my mates with late nights, hardcore thrillers and …boy-stuff. I’ve actually had more time for the girl-friends in my life, as my female-mind-allocation-capacity hasn’t been mainly exhausted by my girlfriend Angela.

My weekends have been dealing with the unfinished business from deep within the depths of my childhood, my family, the bags and baggage with which we came to this country as Idi Amin refugees. Clues to who we are, who we were and where we have come from, what we have been through and what we can’t let go of for fear of lack. Not having enough.

The tides have turned. My brother and I are the carers of the family, as our folks grow older and our generation can work the modern world more efficiently. Roles have reversed and we no longer have them on our needy pedestals.

I met my brother yesterday. He’s a bit yin. I’m a bit more yang these days. Our childhood experiences, roles and survival strategies were fundamentally different to one another, though people say we are the same inside. As adults, we talked, in the calm after the storm. We discussed parenting the parents. Taking care of them and our situation in hand. Understanding their perspectives, rather than believing their ways, punishing their shortcomings, or continuing the sibling rivalry we all played out together.

Full circle. I’ve been playing out our family roles in my every relationship, from best friends, to girlfriends, to work, rest and playtime communities. Releasing our heavy bags will surely set us free from our heavy scripts, allowing lighter, easier, bigger and brighter things to come our way. Change takes courage.

Almost at Stanstead Airport now, with a lump in my throat as I think of wrapping my arms around my princess. Stanstead was still being built when we landed in 1972, glad to be alive but unsure my father would make it. We’ve come a long way.

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