I once read an article about a young lady who went on a holiday with her friends and fell in love.
It was March 27, 1977.
Robina van Lanschot was on her way to meet a man she believed was her soul mate in Tenerife however to get there, she had to do a stopover at the Grand Canaria airport, also in the Canary Islands.
While en-route, a series of unfortunate (terroristic) events at the Grand Canaria Airport, led her plane to make an unexpected stop, coincidentally at what was meant to be her final destination, Tenerife’s Los Rodeos Airport (now known as Tenerife North Airport). She tried to convince the staff at the airport to allow her to off load her luggage since this was the place she was going to head to anyways – but they refused. Instead of listening to authority, she decided to listen to her heart and hid in the airport after waving goodbye to her friends.
Due to a series of further unfortunate events the story didn’t end there. Her friends boarded the plane and that was the last time she saw them –they were to become part of one of the worst aviation disasters in modern history.
“Two planes made an unscheduled stop at Tenerife Airport in the Canary Islands. One took off while the other one was taxing, fog and confusion being partly to blame. On the KLM flight, there were 235 people but during the unscheduled stop, a young woman named Robina van Lanschot decided to not re-board the flight so that she could go and see her boyfriend whom she had met 3 months before. She said goodbye to her friends and that was the last time she saw them alive. Had she not met Paul Wessell 3 months before, her fate would have been different”.
Excuse me to re-iterate this but had Robyn not met that young man and made that fateful decision, she would not be here today, despite the odds being stacked against her.
In Mozambique, a father of five tells a story of a dream he had years ago, long before he had a wife and children. Like most people he had dreams, however this dream he had was like nothing he had ever dreamt before. The visuals were so real and vivid that he couldn’t help but take notice. Being a soldier in the army, death was almost a certainty, however not after that dream. In the dream, he was an old man, playing with his grandchildren, laughing and chasing them around.
While partaking in a military mission, one of the pilots of the plane he was in decided to commit suicide due to personal home issues. Adrenaline rushing, they convinced him to level out the plane and not kill everyone. Years later while on a plane with his wife and children from Guyana to Cuba, disaster struck again – one of the engines on the plane stopped functioning. His young daughter looked at him in fear but she noticed no fear on his face and dared to ask why.
“Don’t worry, I saw us growing old,” he replied.
Cancer came and the same words came out.
Years later, after driving over 8 hours from one country to another, he fell asleep at the wheel. The car started to swerve uncontrollably, forcing him to wake up and in between confusion and thoughts rushing through his head, he heard “breaks” in his head, so he pressed them. His car went airborne and perfectly wedged itself between two pillars. Witnesses thought they had just witnessed a death. He walked out virtually unscathed.
In the United States, a foreign tourist decides to buy a car while on holiday. She loves the car so much that she decides to ship it back to her home country. Her children think that she is being irrational because it would be cheaper to buy a new car in her home country than ship it in.
Years later, she got into her American made car and went for a drive. A minivan on the other side of the road lost control and crushed into her car, turning what should have been the driver’s side into a huge mangled metal mess. Passing motorists looked on in horror and rushed to the car with hopes of finding any survivors. The driver was surely dead so they rushed to the passenger side and helped drag the woman to safety.
As the dust settled and confusion subsided, all the motorists and paramedics realised that not only had the woman they had pulled out of the wreckage survived, but they had witnessed a miracle – there were no fatalities.
The woman involved in the accident had been driving her American imported car in a former British colony therefore what should have been the driver side was in fact the passenger side so she survived.
Coincidence? Perhaps. But all based on true events.
A few years ago I was sleeping and I dreamt of my grandmother and it was a happy dream and to be honest I can’t remember the specifics of the dream but then it turned sinister and I saw my grandmother in a casket. She whispered in my ears “they are killing me”. Everything suddenly turned black. This is where it gets very creepy. Someone whispered ‘trepidation’ into my ear and so I woke up because it felt so real as if someone was hovering over my bed. There was no one in the room but me. I felt such sadness so I quickly wrote the word down because I had never heard it before and went back to sleep. I asked my dad what it mean and he told me it was the fear of the unkwown. My favorite uncle had recently passed away and now his mother (my grandma) was in my dream. She passed away soon after my dream and devastation set in.
Anyways as I hear about the tragic events of flight #MH370 it reminds me of the thoughts I always have before my flight takes off, ‘did I live my life to the fullest?’ …
I have a huge trepidation with this game called life because the world as you know it can end tomorrow so I do whatever comes into my head without analyzing it. Jump on a plane to start a new adventure? why not? you could die tomorrow. or today. and so here is how I find myself at film school, in South Africa and having an amazing time because I can. I know this is where I am meant to be. Another notch to my adventures which have spanned from continent to continent. Everyone else can keep planning for when they retire at 65, I will live for the moment. We can’t control the future therefore we should live in the moment. What are your dreams? tomorrow might never come.
I was sitting one day and someone asked me why I moved from Australia and moved to South Africa and I told them “I don’t know, something felt right in the universe”. Then that person asked me if I was on drugs because people don’t randomly take that kind of leap based on a ‘gut feeling’. To be honest, film school wasn’t even on the cards even though it was my dream. I woke up one day in Sydney feeling lonely and in a character purgatory. Those days became more than a one off incident and became too common for my liking. I had the world at my feet but I was screaming so loud but no one was listening. Everyone was too busy looking out for number 1, themselves.
One day after a night of heavy drinking and partying I looked in the mirror and realised how far I had gone into my own Purgatory and knew if I stayed there, I might never be able to pull myself out so I spontaneously bought a ticket to go back home and when I woke up the next morning I was like “Well drunk me made the decision to save sober me”. Everyone was shocked that I was leaving and questioned why I just didn’t wait til I got my Permanent Residency.
I don’t know why but I had to leave, something felt right in the universe all of a sudden. There was no more trepidation.
Ended up in Mozambique, where my parents lived for work and one day while visiting my little brother, out of no where I looked at my mother and said, I want to go to film school.
So here I am. My Character Purgatory has taken a whole new aspect but this time in a different direction. I let go off everything and I am finally in love with myself again.
I feel happy and at peace.
What is your Character Purgatory?