The literal translation of this Nepali phrase is "a moustache does not prevent a person from eating." Or as we better know it: "where there's a will there's a way."
I love colloquial Nepali having spent five years there as a child. I also love moustaches having dated many hipsters in Vancouver. Welcome to my new favourite phrase.
My dad's Nepali language teacher teaches him a new proverb everyday. In turn my father has taught this to me. Although I have been told "where there's a will there's a way" many, many times during my lifetime it has never quite resonated so much as when I was told it in moustache form. Perhaps I have been hanging out with too many hipsters and it was the moustache reference that got me or, perhaps, I just needed to see the phrase in a new form. Never deny inspiration when it presents itself to you, dressed up in perfect language or not.
I have just moved to London, Ontario and am a few weeks into my journalism program. I left Vancouver and the first man that I have been crazy enough about to not eat or sleep for the past month. He told me before I left that he just couldn't do a long distance relationship and I believed him. That it was him and not me.
In J-school we have been discussing the concept of small "t" truths. Telling the truth. Always tell the truth. This begs the question, however, of what is Truth. Capital "T" Truth. My Truth is this: If someone or something is worth it, go for it. Don't make excuses as to why it couldn't work because yes, it may not work, but what is to be gained from not trying? What is to be taken away from choosing the safe option? What can be achieved from staying clean shaven for a lifetime?
My grandpa had a fall. He broke his hip and he is bleeding in three areas of his brain. He will never walk again. He spent the week in the hospital and came home this weekend. My grandma, however, doesn't remember who he is. Next year they will have been married 70 years and when she is told that my grandpa is her husband she claims she isn't married.
How quickly Alzheimer's robs us of our identities: my grandpa is no longer a husband, my mother is no longer a daughter and I am no longer a granddaughter. How slowly this disease has crept into my grandma's brain and taken us away from her; her grandkids were the first to go, her kids followed one by one, but grandpa was always her husband. I always felt she couldn't live without him, that they would follow in the manner of the elderly couple from "The Notebook," dying within minutes of each other.
My father has always told me that having kids has been the greatest accomplishment of his life. I am incredibly flattered by this statement seeing as my dad has done some amazing things and is one of the most intelligent men I know, but I digress. As someone who cannot wait to one day have a loving husband (who will hopefully also take care of me once I am old and claimed by Alzheimers) and children I can't even imagine not knowing them as I gradually fall into old age. We are a part of who she is and we are here because of her.
I have three black and white photographs that were taken of my grandparents just after they were married. In one they sit on the lawn and my grandma is looking at my grandpa and laughing. Although the photo is black and white you can see the sun spilling into the frame; a second hand illumination that captures a moment of pure happiness and love. They are beautiful.
Here is a list of the public places I cried in yesterday:
1. Front porch
2. Parking lot
5. Bus stop
6. Restaurant #2
There is something very honest in allowing yourself to cry in a public place. While I was completely mortified at the lack of control I was exercising over my emotions, I also felt, in a shameless, self indulgent kind of way, completely and utterly free. It was as if I was reverting back to a time of childlike innocence when I didn't understand what emotional hurt was. And was surprised by it.
Despite the constant tears streaming from my smudged eyes (I made the mistake of wearing mascara yesterday, one I did not repeat today), I was able to observe the reactions of the people that surrounded me. Most people either stared or pretended not to notice. There were a few dirty looks directed at my friend and a busker wished me a good day from his microphone before he proceeded to lose himself in his violin.
So here is what I am puzzling about. Why is it so taboo for someone to cry in public? Why does this certain display of emotion make us, as a society, so uncomfortable? Why is it considered pathetic and undesirable? As blessed as I am with the life that I lead I still experience periods of unhappiness and instead of hiding what I feel I have decided to whole heartedly embrace this crushing feeling of loss (and consequently share it with one thousand strangers on Granville street). It is what it is.