In answer to the daily prompt Take a Chance on Me
2004 – She turned on herself taking in her room: so many memories, so many things lived in here. Pictures of her friends at school, in front of the Louvres’ pyramid, even her ‘internet’ friends in Amsterdam or London. Family too of course; her cousin’s wedding, her siblings, her grandfather who passed away a couple of weeks before. An end of sort that; a question mark for a few days. Should she do as planned? She had become a young woman in that room; she had cried over failed exams, failed romances – not that many of those – she had laughed over silly things said by friends or family, had pondered puzzles and crosswords, written essays. Her first time with a guy too.
In the end it had been a place of safety, a space to come back to when things didn’t go the way she wanted, a place to recover from the hurt, a place to find peace and serenity with a book or a song… And tomorrow it would no longer be her room. Well not in the same way; her suitcases were on the floor. Tomorrow she was crossing the ocean: new country, leaving everything behind except two suitcases with not enough clothes for a year. Particularly not enough to get through the Canadian winter… She’d buy what she needed when she arrived in Montreal.
In these moments she wondered; so many reasons to stay, so many reasons to leave. Moving to the other end of the world – well not really that would have been Australia or Japan – but to the other side of the pond had been a well thought out decision, a two-year plan. And her grandfather would not condone her giving up on taking a chance on his behalf. But in these instants it was hard to think of what he would say; she was the eldest and her family needed her. Yet, she had to live her own life and they had to live theirs. She sighed. The plane ticket was purchased and all was set; hard as it was, there was no turning back.
In the end she cried when she turned one final time to say good bye to her parents and grandmother. It was not ‘adieu’ not forever but it was like closing a book after finishing the last chapter. You know that sense of sorrow for not spending more time with the characters of the story, for not knowing what happens to them after. She had that sensation that she was abandoning these characters to a story she would not be part of: and they were important characters to her, her family. She wouldn’t read the next chapters, wouldn’t see her siblings come into their own. They would grow up, change and she wouldn’t be there. A hard choice that. It hit her then and she cried.
And what about her? She would change too… with nobody she knew to tell her whether she was changing for the better. She would change alone and it scared her. What if she became someone her family didn’t like? What if she lost herself when she took that chance to find who she was? She had taken that risk because she knew she defined herself through her family but what if there was nothing else? Scary that thought. Time would tell.
2014 – Time has gone by and she has changed. She’s in her thirties now… So have her family members and friends from ten years ago. They have grown or aged and they have made their lives. But there is love still, a lot of it; every visit a blessing, every phone call a delight. And she has come into her own… She has met people who have helped her along the way. Love too. Choices, chances we have to take them if we want to grow and learn. The song For Good from the musical Wicked goes as such “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you I have been changed for good.”
Who knows who that “you” is? It could be herself… and in many ways it is. It could be the many people she has met on the way, or that one person who has become her one. Or the family she has always had but rediscovers every time she visits France… A chance to take, a life to live…