The Future

August 12, 2009 at 10:30 pm (Uncategorized)

My dreams have changed a lot in the last few years. Until relatively recently (certainly well into my adult years) my idea of the future involved hopes of finding a dirty but community-oriented slum in which to live somewhere in Indonesia. (Believe it or not, I’ve been to some pretty nice slums. I planned to work as a volunteer teacher in Indonesia, and prepared for it for twelve years before I got mentally ill – then eventually realised I didn’t actually want to go even if I still could.)

So anyway. . . I got married in January this year – to an Australian who’s never visited anywhere overseas (we will be visiting Indonesia and China next year, but just visiting). At about this time last year there were three main things I wanted:

to be married (I really wasn’t sure my partner was serious, but clearly he was – as he told me all along)

to be out of debt (it was impossibly large, and was later cancelled by family friends)

to have a book accepted by a major publisher (hasn’t happened yet)

The reason I mention those things is that I would have put them in the reverse order. Book publication was the most important, because it represented a purpose in life, and an identity (something that’s still sorely lacking after giving up on a twelve-year dream to move to Indonesia). It would also help with getting out of debt – debt is something that has an absolute immoral quality to it in my value system (excluding mortgage and hecs). And yes, I know debt is common. Not for me. Never again. (Mental illness = major debt. I still don’t think I could have done anything better.)

Now that I’ve been married a little while, I know it’s much better than any kind of publication, and will have a greater impact on my life. It’s funny, because being married was never an important part of my self-image – it was always a luxury extra to life (and one that was pretty unlikely for me). But of course I like being a Mrs, and in a few more years my single years will look like a foreign country.

This does all kinds of strange things to my brain (like suddenly wanting matching plates – which, incidentally, I have. A set of twelve). Most importantly, it means I’m safe in all kinds of ways. Marriage isn’t especially hard, but everything else in life is (almost always) easier.

And this marriage thing means I’ll most likely have children. (Side note: I’m at the house of the babysitting kids right now, but was unable to write this entry until the kids were asleep. They’re just too scary when they’re conscious.)

Friends will know that I generally express my desire for children by boasting of how much time my kids will spend with their grandparents. It’s not that I don’t like kids – I’m just freaking terrified of them. I’m scared of their effect on my mental state, of passing on my crazy to them, and so on and so on.

But I keep having these dreams that my partner and I have just bought a house. They always feature a kids’ room. I really like these dreams.

Also, interestingly, the dreams tell me I’m not ready – every single house I’ve dreamed of has been the same size or smaller than the flat we now rent in. It’s clear my subconscious just doesn’t have the guts to dream big enough.



But it’s fun all the same – the dreaming.

My nephew

My nephew

(Or, as I call him, Practice.)

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