Editor: Katerina Tsitoura
Translation: Anna Athanasiou
The first time I came to realize that nothing in this life is permanent , could well be the movie version of a touching, yet alternative love story, starring I and a white car, whose brand I cannot now recall, but I will never forget the indescribable pain that parting with it caused me. I was about 8 years old (give or take), when my parents callously announced to me that the first car that drove me through the routes of my childhood was getting old, had got its fair share of pictures in the family album, and is now ready to park in another driveway. And then, with the tears freely flowing down, I was confronted by the awful reality. I realized that in a constantly moving world, car keys are bound to be passed on to other owners and ,as a result, the pages of our book will be written and re-written, since every novel that respects its narrator is allergic to immobility.
In time, I was becoming painfully aware that the white car was simply the opening act of the dance of separations, and that I would soon be forced to whisper goodbye to my first home, my first relationship, the friend that I believed we’d grow old together, chatting on the balcony under the twilight sky, my first job… To all the firsts that eventually became second, or even third.
And each time, that same, deep, painful longing for what’s gone and will never return, an agony over the sweeping course of the journey
The fear of separation, a fear so closely related to our own essence, is according to Freud a mechanism that first appears in toddlers and it requires (as any other human mechanism) a quick and satisfactory solution. Small children, totally dependent on their parents, rate security very high on the chart of their needs and in the case of separation, they are more likely to experience that cutting feeling that comes with it; not only in the case of physical separation but, also, in more common cases(mother’s absence due to her work, parents’ divorce, death of a family member).
Thus, it becomes clear that everyone of us, to a greater or lesser degree, has experienced feelings of insecurity in the delicate period of childhood, and the anguish that we’re gonna end up helpless and alone, away from the protective arms of the powerfull adult figures of our world. As the years go by, this unresolved anxiety is likely to turn into the feeling of inferiority, hypersensitivity, shyness, depression, instability and act as a hindrance throughout our adult life.
Maybe, we need to realize that the people, the jobs and generally all the critical parts of our lives are just pieces of our puzzle that fit their position in it for as long as we need them and say goodbye when they no longer fit in it.
Every goodbye leads to a new beginning, a brand new journey, a fascinating challenge. And if, someday, you catch yourself gazing at the endless blue of the sea, feeling an aching
longing for the past, search a little inside yourself. You’ll realize the past has never really died. It lives in all the laughter that’s still ringing in your ears, the intimate hugs that keep you going, the tears that have matured you , the moments that made you fly and have given you the golden wings of dreams and in your own reflection in the magical mirror of your destiny.
Perhaps, in time, you’ll see that the white car didn’t leave you. It just set you free to move successfully through each level of your development. And it still comes in your dreams at night and calls you for yet another ride in the highways of gleefulness. And the boxes of your first home, your first boss and first boyfriend, old friends and your beloved grandparents that currently reside in heavens, are all welcome for the ride.
In the morning, you wake up smiling, knowing that nothing is lost forever, that the past has led you to the present, and that a bright future is ready to welcome brand new cars, faces and jobs. You push the pedal, and, for the first time, you don’t look back. You’re finally free.
Freud, S. (1953). A general introduction to psychoanalysis. New York: Pocket Books.
Freud, S. (1977). Case histories I: “Dora” and “Little Hans” Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin Books.