It's funny how a perfectly normal day can suddenly become a nightmare, but even more strange is that it wasn't even my nightmare. Although I felt it should be, it usually is, but this time it wasn't me.
Friday was a normal day, I dragged myself up in the morning, to the gym, to work, to my next work, and then to the next one. Just the usual, painful working three jobs in 24 hours kinda crappy weekday. Untill late friday evening when I was just starting to wind down and relax at work. As people were starting to leave, and I was thinking about closing up shop, when in about 10 seconds everything changed. A young Woman walked in and rang the bell at reception, as soon as I walked through the door I stopped in my tracks recognising the (oh so painfully familiar) shaking, confused, and pretty much terrified look about her. She started trying to tell me something, but couldn't get the words out, she was shaking uncontrollably and eventually she managed to tell me that she was raped by one of the other guest's. A friend of a gal she works with, who she offered to give a lift out to our hostel as he was a bit lost in our city.
Due to my upcoming trip to Asia, I have had to have a few visits to the Doctor, for my shots etc, which I really don't enjoy doing at all, but more than that, I am totally sick of them talking about how I need to do this and that if I want to have children, because of my endometriosis etc. I patiently explain to them each time I go that it really is not a concern I have as I am not planning on having any anyway. This is apparently not the right answer.
Most of the time they think it's because I am young, and that I will change my mind in a few years, and order tests and things anyway. I am not concerned about whether or not I can get pregnant, now or in the future. I believe that if I can't for whatever reason then maybe I should look after one of the many kids in this country who are in desperate need of a good home, or just not have any at all. And I am happy with this.
This last weekend marked the end (finally) of the Rugby season in my village. I look forward to that every year, as I work in the local bar, and do get tired of the drunken idiots from the rugby club pinching my butt as I work and urinating on our door. On Saturday night the local rugby club had their annual prize giving at our bar as we sponsor their club. I had to work, much to my disgrace, but cash is not exactly flying into my wallet these days, so of course I agreed.
About half way through the evening, most of the wives/girlfriends of the guys at the event had drifted away from the drunken crowd of men and were leaning on the bar chatting to the four of us who were working. We were all pretty unenthusiastic about the event and it was when one of the women mentioned that it might be nice if the women who attended the damn thing were actually included and spoken to, that I asked why we donâ€™t actually have any Womenâ€™s sports teams in our village, other than one Netball team, and why donâ€™t we have a womenâ€™s rugby team, soccer team, cricket team, when there were so many menâ€™s sports teams playing for our village each week. Most of the Women sitting at the bar laughed loudly and wished me good luck with that one, as most of the time we are barely allowed to stand on the sidelines let alone participate and actually play. But a few of the younger gals expressed interest in being able to play some sort of sport.
This post comes after day of hell being super Nanny to a family, a new one, who, while I do love these kids, think their parents are great and enjoy my job, I also just cant help but shake my head at how much these kids have, how little they know about the world outside of their very nice four walls. Sometimes I have to catch myself while doing this and question whether my feelings are fair or if this is how we should all have been as children, but because my life was such a contrast to theirs I just cant seem to work out my feelings on this.
I was raised very aware of what goes on the world, the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of it unfortunatly I learnt the hard way, being abused etc. But the rest was because my parents were very open with us about such things. My dad especially took us to protests, friends houses who were going through crisis and it was always explained to us what was going on, sometimes I must admit this was overwhelming and probably a bit inappropriate for the age I was at the time. But most of the time, I think it was okay, good in fact, as by the time I went to high school I was very aware of the issues in not only my community, but in many parts of the world. I guess though, that my Dad being so relaxed about me interacting with people, trusting people and trusting that I knew dangerous from safe situations a little more than I did at age 11 was really how I got hurt in the first place.
Today is the first day of my new course. I have decided to study to be a nurse; I have decided that New Zealand really is not the place for me. I have family here, friends here, but I miss the brand new life which I carefully sculpted, spent a year doing so, a brand new family full of people who I adore as though we all have the same blood running through our veins, a happy life in Canada. I miss my life there, so much that at times since I have been back in New Zealand, I feel as though maybe I left my voice at Vancouver airport and I donâ€™t know how to get it back without returning.
Upon returning I also discovered something about myself which I donâ€™t think I ever would have if I had not escaped my life here for that whole year, if I had not had that year of safety. And that is that I am capable of changing my own life no matter what or who is standing right in the middle of my path. I was a feminist before I left New Zealand, I have read the books, I had very strong feelings and thoughts and opinions on such things, but I feel that now that I have really used my own strength as a woman to stand up and say enough. Walk out on everything I had ever known because I am better than that, I really truly understand what Feminism means to me, what it is.