Thursday, September 28, 2006

Water, Water Every Hare

The other day, The Boy pointed to his Velveteen Rabbit and said the word "bunny" for the first time. It's funny how a seemingly innocent word, said in an even more innocent situation, can be the catalyst for so much. A virtual can opener for a very large can of worms. Follow me on my ruminative journey if you dare...

The word "bunny" naturally led to Bugs Bunny (where else?). I remember waking up early every Saturday morning, grabbing breakfast in my pyjamas and hunkering down for several hours worth of cartoon watching. Most days, I would be still be in my pyjamas at noon, at which time, my mother would threaten me to get outdoors and stop watching so much tv. My all-time favourite cartoon was the episode called "
Water, Water, Every Hare". In it, a mad scientist, à la Boris Karloff, is after Bugs Bunny's brain. Bugs falls asleep and is carried out of his rabbit hole by a rain storm and is deposited at the nightmare castle of the Evil Scientist. Bugs wakes up from his trance, finds out that his brain is going to be removed and used to give life to large robot, and naturally opposes the plan. He escapes the clutches of the Evil Scientist who, in turn, sends this big, hairy orange monster (wearing sneakers) to catch Bugs. During his escape, a bottle of ether gets broken and the whole chase goes into slow motion. I was glued to the tv every time this episode was aired, and I know that if it was on tv now, I would run (not walk) to the nearest set to watch it. I can still hear the Evil Scientist:

Evil Scientist: [running in slo-mo] "Come... back... here... you... rab... bit."

I wondered how a mere cartoon could leave such an indelible mark on my brain. And what made me think of it now, when all The Boy said, really, was "bunny"? Could the obvious be true? Do I identify with a bunny?? The answer is yes. My life in the past few years could be said to parallel this dastardly cartoon. I'm not a rabbit. I've never been captured by an Evil Scientist. And, I don't really remember being chased by a large orange monster. Ok, so my life has been nothing at all like this cartoon, in the literal sense.

I went to school to be an Actor. After graduation, I took an office job to make money while I trying to catch my break in my real career. Well, here I am, years later and I haven't made it big. I went into acting because it was my dream, my passion. I don't know if I ever believed that the dream would actually come true, but I had to try. I didn't want to come to the end of my life knowing that I didn't even give it a shot. And I've been hanging on to this dream like an albatross about my neck because I didn't want to be considered a quitter. Funny thing is, I don't even know if it's my dream anymore.

Bugs Bunny: [discovers the monster] Uh-oh. Think fast, rabbit.

Now don't get me wrong, if Baz Luhrmann showed up at my door and and said "Nomo - I want you to star in my next film", I would not say no. I would call the office and say, "Umm, yeahhhh, I don't think I'll be coming in today - or ever!" But my dream now is The Husband and The Boy (aka The Family), and everything else must take these factors into consideration first.

But now I still have this office job...!

Bugs Bunny: What a shame. Such an interesting monster, too.

For some time now, I've known that I can't stay in this present "career" path - that if I wasn't going to be an actor (at least not professionally), that I would have find something better. Something meaningful. But I was lulled into acceptance by the nice people, and the nice money, and the nice hours. I succumbed to the Ether of Easy Living.

And then we had The Boy, and nothing else mattered. Everything was meaningful, and interesting,and I was present. And I thought that when I went back to work, everything would be different. And everything was. Everything was different outside of work, but work was still the same. It took me six months to realize that a change was needed, and that I had to wake up be the catalyst for change if it was indeed going to happen.

Evil Scientist: Now, be a cooperative little bunny, and let me have your brain.
Bugs Bunny: Sorry, Doc, but I need what little I've got

One thing I know, and I knew it before I had The Boy - I want to work. I want to have that space in my life that is just for me. And "mommy wars" be damned -- I don't think that is such a terrible thing. So now I'm back in school part-time working towards a brighter future. Ever since I decided this, I feel like I've woken up from a bad dream. I feel like I've finally started to move towards the future that I always dreamed of: one of Husband, Children, and Fulfilling Career. Baby steps, yes. But I know firsthand how important those baby steps are.

I was worried that I would be teaching The Boy a terrible lesson, one that entails giving up your dream when it gets too hard. I was worried that I was going to set a bad example. To be honest, I still am. But I think the lesson to be learnt here is that that dreams can change. And if they do, acknowledge it . Own it. And pursue the new dream with the same determination as before.

Bugs Bunny: Mmm, not bad.

And this all started with the word "bunny"? I should not be left alone with my thoughts for long periods of time.


Suzanne said...

See, that's why Bugs Bunny is so brilliant -- it's not every cartoon that can illuminate life decisions while entertaining at the same time!

It's terrific that you've found a path that is making you happy.

(Is this the episode where the monster turns around, looks at the audience, and shrieks "PEOPLE! AHHHHH!!" and runs away? I love that one.)

kittenpie said...

Misterpie did this just recently too. It's hard, especially with a babe around, but he's happuier already, and he's still struggling up the learning curve.

penelopeto said...

saturday morning kids' shows these days are just not what they used to be.

i seriously doubt that the insipid doodlebops or even dora will ever inspire such musings.

keep at it, sistah. it's never too late, even if we have to adjust our dreams, just a little.