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g is for exploring

September 28, 2011

I’m no longer the person who picked “Laiima” as my name. I considered changing it outright to reflect my new sensibilities, but after a lot of thought, I’ve decided to keep it but add a middle name.

For a week now, I’ve been having dreams of being lost and trying to find my way forward with no map. I’ve dreamed of the deaths of family members. And last night I dreamed that I would be returning to the school I attended in kindergarten and first grade.

Not only my old life, but my ideas about what my life could or should be, are dying, and their ashes scatter in the wind.

New ideas will be born out of doing – blindly, or in darkness.

The (public) school I attended for kindergarten and first grade, AV, was the first and last enjoyable experience I had of school until college. My mother pulled me out of it to send me to Catholic school, which was supposed to be better for me somehow. Instead, it was utter misery. At AV, the world was complex, and I was finding my own way within it. I was smart and confident; I had friends. At SJ, the world was simple and regimented. To succeed I would have had to conform to rules I could not understand and no one would explain. Blind obedience was a virtue; one that I did not have. None of the children liked me, and neither did most of the teachers. Intelligence and creativity were irrelevant; what mattered was being like everyone else.

As a child, I was always trying to get lost in the wilderness, because being lost meant I could do anything. I often fantasized about staying lost permanently, or at least, not returning to my parents. They rarely came looking for me, so I could have just kept walking … away.

I’ve been found for too long. I need to get lost again. And stay lost.


So I went looking for a verb that would suit who I am now.

The Maltese verb ‘ġarrab’ means (1) to experience; to endure; (2) to try on, to don clothes; to test, to fit. (I also choose to see within it ‘ġar’, which means neighbor.) I could probably find out how to turn ‘ġarrab’ into a gerund in Maltese, but I decided instead I would create a hybrid of Maltese and English. So it’s ‘ġarrabing’.

Time for exploring.

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