There was a time when I believed that I could do anything I wanted to. That at some point in my life, my basic purpose would reveal itself to me and I would embark on a journey of self fulfillment and actualisation.
I once believed that I would find myself a wealthy, independant woman in my twenties, pursuing the career of my dreams and enjoying (the finer things in) life.
I believed these things in spite of circumstances, in spite of obstacles, in spite of the freedoms I knew other children enjoyed and I was consistently denied. I believed them because I was young enough that I was not yet exhausted at the thought of enduring yet another day, every day. Because believing meant that one day, I would be someplace not *here*. Because believing meant that I would wake up one day, old enough no longer to have my choices made for me.
It’s funny how, when our options are limited or our choices prescribed, we long to shake off the restraints forced upon us by circumstances or the will of others. And yet, once freed from those restraints, how few of us make the most of our freedom, how often we march straight into the next trap.
I was 11 when I was sent off to a state institution for “troubled” children. Whether I belonged there is debatable. Whether leaving me where I’d come from would have been preferable, equally so. That this place, the fact of my being sent there and the time spent there would impact my life in ways I would not even recognise until years later, unquestionable.
And even here – perhaps even more so than before – I believed.