I can’t compare myself to that guy not just because I’m not as handsome as he is but for so many other different obvious reasons. But I’m going to. Not to the person himself but to the character in one of my favorite movies, Cast Away.
I feel like Chuck Noland every single day.
“I knew I had lost her then (4 yrs back) because I was never going to get off that Island”
Four years ago, I was going through life unfazed. Then I got pregnant. I’ve been on this parenting island ever since and I’ve never felt so lost before. Once you are a parent, you’re a parent for life. The waves come and hit you one after the other, the next one more vicious than the previous like a ruthless dictator that is insatiable and hungry for more blood. Even though the dictator is a tiny little person that cannot even pronounce ‘dictator’ yet.
The old me is gone. The happy, uncaring irresponsible person got lost somewhere. What’s left? A clueless city-dweller stranded in an empty island with no one around to ask directions from.
“I.. had.. power.. over.. nothing”
While I cannot for the life of me grasp how such a tiny human being that is more than two decades younger, have so much control and power over me, what I cannot fathom is how and why that ever works. I have written off so many people and mouthed off countless intrusions but I cannot seem to break off these tiny invisible shackles. I am starting to believe in fate because there is no other explanation for this.
I must have done something really bad in my past life or in the past to be brutally punished like this every single day. Well, I’m going to discount past life because just my past must have been enough to tempt and steer the devil to pay me a visit.
“I know what I have to do now… I have to keep breathing…Because tomorrow the sun will rise…Who knows what the Tide could bring…”
You know what I wish the tide would bring? Right now? I wish the tide could magically turn this 3 and a quarter year old menace into a very handsome, well-rounded, intelligent, smart and successful 25 year old that is very happy with his life, while not aging me one bit. A 25 year old that has moved out of my house. That’s the important part!
I used to wonder why people have kids. The pain and the suffering they go through raising kids! Does that justify the end result? Which is eventually a gamble. All parents make mistakes and at some point every kid hates his parents from the bottom of his heart. Some get over it soon, most don’t. And that hope is what makes people have kids. That they would fall under the “some” category.
Having kids, the actual bearing, as in labor, involves a lot of breathing which incidentally is a preparation of what is to come. When that breathing stops, people expect to have other people visit them when they journey off to nowhere, even if the visitors are people that hated them. And that is the reason people have kids.
Chuck Noland keeps one package unopened. That was his motivation to leave the island. The unknown, the mystery, the responsibility is what kept him going. Minute after minute, day after day.
The unknown and mystery are exactly why the man strives through every day to rise, shine and greet the next. As weird as it may sound that responsibility is probably why tons of research indicate how people with kids are eventually much much happier than those that decide against having kids.
The tide brings in a big piece of sail for Chuck Noland to escape out of the island.
We call that “spouse” in our looney-tuney land. Although, in this case the sail was the reason you got stuck in the island in the first place.
To imagine what single parents go through – facing the sea and fighting the waves during their escape, all without the sail! Definitely something to be revered.
When the director Robert Zemeckis was asked about what was in the unopened package, he replied, “It was a waterproof, solar-powered, satellite phone”
All parents have that unopened package. Some of us don’t know what’s in the package. May be some of us don’t even know we have that package. But everyone eventually gets off the island. When we do, some of us realize what was in the package. May be some of us are happy not knowing but just being grateful that the package was there.
Come to think of it, may be our kids are the unopened package!
P.S: The song Chuck Noland sings after he creates fire. One of my favorites. Enjoy!