On my way into the office, thinking about the busy day ahead of me, I ran into a cabdriver I had met a while ago.
Just before Christmas I was due to go on my holidays and was at the airport the night before. While there, I asked a taxi driver at the taxi rank outside the airport if he could pick me up the next morning for an early flight I had to catch. The first cabbie in the rank said he could not do an early pick up, I was directed to the taxi behind him. That driver said he could pick me up, and we swapped mobile numbers. Early the next morning I was packed and ready to go when I got a text message. I was thinking ‘Who was this at this hour?’ It was Colin the cabbie. I was impressed. He was organised and making sure I was too. I phoned him when I arrived back as well and we chatted on the drive home from the airport. He was a likeable guy.
On a planned drinking night out in late January with my friend Grant, I asked my new cabbie friend Colin if he was working that night. I had his number remember? It turned out he was working and said yes to a double fare to pick us up. He picked me up first and we chatted on the way to Grant’s place. I was thinking, ‘Hmm, I like this man’. Grant was still sober enough to phone Colin at 1am. Colin dropped me off first on the way home. I questioned Grant the next day, but he was not sober enough to remember the trip home, or any discussions they might have had about me. I’ll have to put Grant through a vigorous training program if he is going to be helpful in finding me a potential high quality man in the future.
So, as I was saying … I was on my way into the office and I see Colin the cabbie. A million thoughts start rushing through my mind. Thoughts like, ‘What am I wearing?’ and ‘ Should I put my head down and run?’ or do the feigned ‘Oh I’m so calm and relaxed thing’. He was sitting in the taxi depot in the CBD. ‘So that’s a taxi depot?’ I should have sussed this out already. He waved to me. So I went over and asked him out. Why not?
I went onto work and told the girls that I am now really worried about what was happening to my mind as I just asked a cabbie out on a date. Their jaws dropped, and I go, “Yeah I know. A bit cheeky hey?”
Then I explained to them that it was not the first time I’d ever seen the cabbie and that I wasn’t ready for the straitjacket just yet. They could leave it under my desk for a bit longer. I didn’t just wander on over to a taxi rank, eyeball a driver for the first time and then ask him out. No it was not like that at all. I had to check he wasn’t married or attached first.
In my lunch break I put in the Application for Divorce at the Family Court. I was impressed when the fee was less than I expected. I know my soon-to-be ex-husband would not want a refund of the half he paid. I went straight to the theatre and bought two tickets to a local live show of Jesus Christ Superstar that I wanted to see. Two ‘premium seats’ in the 2nd row.
Before I left home to start this now hugely exciting day, I had accepted my offer to attend University. I’ll be moving. My future is in another city. Though I’m still staying in Tasmania, I love this place.
As if all of this in one day had not been enough for me, and it was, I received a phone call the same night. I was made another offer I could not refuse and was thinking, ‘My life is brilliant!’ Except for getting divorced. On a brighter front, I instigated the offers I had received. There is no escaping that I made the offer to the cabbie. Colin was going on a date with me, to the theatre. Sorry Grant, I know it was you who was coming with me until I saw Colin. I know you’ll understand.
I get into my life. I actively do something to make it better. I live it. I risk being rejected, in the most sensible way of course. I put myself out there, in the most sensible way of course. I am not stupid or desperate. I limit my risks. I had made some assessment of the cabbie after all. Limited, I know.
I applied to Uni. How else would they know to offer me a place? I also offered to help someone with a project that is special to them. The project is special to me as well as I had a lot to do with the project in this past year. To be honest, I wanted to be a part of this project. However, it all got too hard, became too stressful and to protect myself I had to decline any further involvement. This is that concept of limiting the risk. I have my line in the sand at which point I can say “No, this is not working.”
Surprised to get the phone call on the night when so much had already happened I listened and discussed the offer put to me. Then I said, “Yes”. The project is a feature film. They shoot here in Tasmania on the East Coast, and I will be there for the shooting schedule of 20 days. Whoo Hoo!
I am not a technical person, so I am staying away from all cameras, lights and such, but happy to help where ever I can. I hope I can add the odd impressive line that comes to me now and then.
Actors are coming in from Sydney. Different ones at different times. I’ll be ferrying people from airports to shooting locations. I’ll be staying with the actors and cooking for them. Well, I’ve promised to shop, but everyone knows I can’t cook! Fruit tastes great here. They are all adults and I am certain they will want to cook their own meals, particularly after they eat one of mine. An opportunity for me, or perhaps a new future? It is extremely exciting and as it turns out I won’t have a job, and I can afford the time to do this.
Oh yeah, this brings me to mentioning that I quit my job after my return from holidays. It was a temporary contract which had been extended once with talk of further extensions. The current end date was 30th March. After my Christmas break, I gave a lot of thought to what I wanted. I looked at what I was doing I asked myself if I wanted to keep doing it. The answer was no. Too many hours lost, forever sitting at my desk doing the same repetitive tasks for limited income with no change to tasks or income in sight made the choice clear. Not knowing what I would do when I left, I advised my employer in January that I would not be staying past the end of March. I finish on the 29th of March now, as filming starts on the 30th of March.
As the future always remains ahead of what we see now, I am always amazed when things in my life change. Times like the separation, and now divorce, from the man who will always hold a large chunk of my past in his kind hands, were difficult to cope with. I feel like I have almost been living in a coma for the past two years doing things but somehow not being attached or involved in my life.
Now I actively plan my life, not only because I can, I must. The excitement of a new venture, creating something from nothing (which is what making a feature film is). Times like working hard to achieve something you can say you have done, like a University degree. I want to be the best I can be, and I am willing to learn, look and listen. Recently, a nice person named Patrick said to me that the past is a great place for reference, but not the place to live. As each moment unfolds before me I move into my future.
Copyright © Mary Willetts 2012