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2002-06-16 - 11:51 p.m.

My goal in life today seems to be to antagonize people. Mostly just one person. But, I'll leave that be for now.

The other day Kate (who left for Zimbabwe today) and Kelly (who went back to New York today) and Matt and I ate lunch at Friendly's. We were talking about going to Zimbabwe, and Morgan going to Japan. "God," said Matt. "Are we the only ones with any interest in staying in this country?"

"Speak for yourself, hon," I said.

"Really? Where would you go? You've never talked about going anywhere."

"Yes she has," said Kate.

"Brazil," I said. "I have always wanted to go to Brazil. Or Japan."

"What would you do?"

Its just funny how Matt forgets that I had other plans. I don't think he realizes just how different my plans always were. I always thought that I would be by myself. I never thought that anyone would love me enough to stay with me forever. And that's not meant to be taken in an angsty sort of way - just, whenever I daydreamed of the future, I couldn't imagine someone else there. I tried, especially with Chris, but those daydreams always turned violent and angry. He always left me. With Lauren, she always broke me. And I always left Brad in my daydreams. I just couldn't imagine my life with someone else.

I wanted to go to Brazil, and work with the mothers there. I wanted to work with the babies and the children. I wanted to teach about boiling water and breastfeeding. You see, in Brazil, like so many other places, commercials for baby formula has convinced many women that their own breastmilk is not good enough. So they spend what little money they have to buy baby formula (from Nestle - in this country they are known for their candy and chocolate, but in so many other countries, they are known for milk and baby formula) that they do not know how, or are unable to prepare correctly. They make the formula 1/2 or 1/4 strength, because it is so expensive, and they make it with water from wells and rivers that are hideously dirty. Fuel is expensive too, so that water is not usually boiled long enough to kill all the germs. So babies are being fed formula that is not enough to meet their nutritional needs, with potentially dangerous water. All because of advertising campaigns. I wanted to learn Portugese, and go, and talk, and take care of mothers and children.

I also wanted to teach ESL in Japan. I wanted to go, and learn as much as I could, and teach. Ever since I was very young I've been fascinated by Japan and China.

I wanted to go to New Orleans, and live on my own. I used to dream of being a special ed teacher, who did art in her spare time. In my apartment above an antique store, I would have a studio space that I lived in, with a tiny dark room, and access to a kiln nearby. I would be able to sculpt, and photograph. And have notebooks, and a typewriter, and a computer, and maybe I could write, too. All those things that I used to do as naturally as breathing (or smoking) that I can't do anymore.

It's like pulling teeth. And these are permanent teeth. If the tooth fairy doesn't come, all I have is a bleeding hole in my mouth.

 

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