The Old Soul in My Little Body
I kept it as a big personal secret all my life. Now that the year 2003 has arrived I decided that it is high time that I share my „secret“ with my friends and with the world. It might be a revelation for them
The oldest recollection I can remember is when I was perhaps one and-a-half or two years old. We lived in Žižkov in a Prague apartment on Karlova Třída. Nearly every morning after breakfast, when carefully dressed by my mother, I went to Mrs. Roušarová in the apartment next door. She welcomed me cordially and seated me on a little stool she called „Georgina´s little chair.“ And I believed that the chair was just for me. Later I found out that it served mainly as a kitchen stool to reach the items on higher shelves.
That particular morning a visitor was there. I listened to their talk, when I overheard Mrs. Roušarová say scoldingly: „Do not speak this way, there is a child here!“ I remember I thought I could not be the „little child!“ I felt old, experienced, wise and important inside! Then I looked around, but found that therre were only two other people in the room, big people I only reached to their knees. „So they could not be that child,“ I reasoned. I looked down and saw the two little hands of mine, little hands like those of a doll. „I have to be that little child in this room!“ I concluded with astonishment! But inside me I felt old, important, distinguished, also somehow an honorable, wise old dignitary. Old, like close to 90! How could I ever get into the body of a very little girl for goodness sake (or something like that!) I felt degraded. Mainly by bying a girl! In my own opinion, girls were less important, less wise, less gifted! The shock was overhelming, I cannot find strong enough words to describe my feelings at that moment. I was stupefield! I wanted to get back to my old self, but how? This feeling of having an old masculine personality stayd with me!
I decided I would share these feelings with my mother. She seemed to know all answers. But I lacked the skill to express myself by words.
Sometime later the oportunity came. I was with my mother in my parents bedroom helping (in my opinion) her in changing the linen: Suddenly my mother called: „Donˇt lift that, Georgina, you are still a very little girl!“ I thought now is the time! And I replied „But I feel very old inside!“ What followed I will never forget! My mother started to laugh hysterically, called my father in the other room and after a short conversation he joined her by laughing heartily. I remember standing there and feeling awful, like a condemned person whose request for mercy was rejected. I felt there was no hope for me, that nobody else would help me and believe me! Others would only laugh at me! I repeated to myself, while clutching my little fists“ „I will never, never ever reveal it to anybody.“ It became my big secret.
Yet it stayed with me, this feeling of being old, very old! Also this feeling of being wise and knowledgeable. I searched my memory, but any such knowledge was not there! I lost it all. I felt important, but I realized that all titles and positions of honor were lost. Left was only this little girl Georginain a loving family. What other choice did I have, but to continue in my role of little girl? Good girl trying to please my parents!
Yet, when alone, I immediately returned to my secret and to the questions: Why am I here in this country and this city? Why I am a girl? How did I get into the body of a little girl? What´s the purpose? Sometimes I got this feeling of seeing things like I did before: Many places, many people, many disasters, many events, many of everything. I was still hoping in the corner of my heart, that something might happen and I would step out and become my „old self“. But days, weeks and months passed, and I was still a little girl, bigger but still little, Many times I had, what you call „Deja vu“ - also deep inside. I would !fish-out“ big wisdom and opinions, like beyond my years.
Among those sudden „Glimpses“ from the past belongs this little one: Again I was helping my mother (my age about 3 ½) when she said: „Remember, little Georgina, never build your happiness on someone else´s tears!“ I immediately knew what she meant. Like to attract a successfull married man and hope for happiness with him, disregarding the sorrow coused to his wife! My inner being called out: „Don´t I know it too well! How many times I paid the price!“
They were definitely thoughts beyond my yers and experience for that age.
Yet, I never forgot it! The words, the warning, the feelings!
As I was not around other children very much I remember my reaction when I found myself in the first grade (at the age of six and a half) surrounded by other girls who were playing and „blabbering“ away I thought, „How childish they all are! I could hardly be one of them! I have nothing in common with them!“ I stood aside and surveyed my class with doubts!
But in time I found trends in common with other girls. I got involved in their games and learned the school subjects.
But I must confess that I never felt like „one of the girls.“ I always felt apart from them, I was more adult-like.
When I was eight years old my parents bought a small family home on the outskirts of Prague, Czechoslovakia. They wanted fresher air, a garden and more space for me. The location was Jahodnice (derived from Jahody-Strawberries, which indeed prospered in our local gardens).
From Jahodnice I have several recollections which I think are interesting:
As a child I was filled with many latent memories. People who believed in reincarnation would say it was memories of past lives. In those years, however, I did not know about reincarnation, so my mind was filled with those „strange“ thoughts, feelings and convictions without any explanations, whatsoever. However, very real and convincing to me.
Wen we moved to this new location I „played house“ on the sand with other children, building our kitchens, our gardens and business. One late afternoon, when the other children had already left, and I was alone I remember flattening sand with a spatula as a could wind swept over. I probably talked to myself and to God, as was my habit. I said silently: „I wonder why did you (God) put me (this time) here (in Czechoslovakia), where it is so cold in the winter with snow and frost! And you know how I hate the frost and the cold!“
Thinking back on thouse words, I realized that between God and I there werde many premises, accepted ideas. The very fact that I desliked frost and freezing cold before I was put into this life and that God knew it!
And then like „Deja vu“ memory recalled a tropical climate, warm slightly humid, with chirping cicadas in my mind. „That is the climate I love and want to live in!“ I said to myself. And where I thought I belonged!
I decided then and there that when I grow up, I would seek such a place and move there, if it would be in my power!
I must add that at the age of eight I had not yet experienced such a climate, with its distinct smell of tropical flowers and sounds of cicadas in my Czech life. When I later visited tropical places, particularly Egypt, they smelled and sounded, and felt as I knew they would!
From Jahodnice I remember another interesting episode.
I think it was also the summer of my eight or ninth year. We were making wreaths of field flowers from nearby meadows with two other girls, Vera and Lida. Suddenly the girls realized it was already dark and they were to be home before dark. So Vera cried out: „My goodness, I have to rush home, but I am scared to go alone in the dark.“ Lida agreed with her. I was younger than both girls, but I volunteered to accompany them to their homes, before going home myself. After we dropped Lida (= Liduška), I took Vera through several streets to her home. She thanked me, commenting that it was lucky that I was not scared of the dark.
I remember my reaction to these words: „I am not scared of darkness or anything else, as I know that we lived before this life and will life after this life. And in a flash I remembered existing in spirit form, sort of gliding through space (without a body, out of time, out of location), with warm assurance inside me that we are always existing!“
If we consider that at that time I had not read any literature, or seen a film originating such ideas-then all such images must have been from my own mind and memory!
When I was in the third grade I discovered books. I immersed myself in reading. Being an only and lonely child it was great for me. I remember one day in my room – I was reading a book about a successful explorer and I was filled with pride of how wonderful his achievement was. „Anyhow, we men made great discoveries by men in earth territories!“ I concluded with pride. Then it hit me like a shock. „But I am not the man anymore! I am only a girl!“ I exclaimed. I could hardly believe it! I turned to the mirror in ma room. In the mirror I saw a gentle little round face decorated by dark curly hair. There was a naive look in the eyes. I liked the face. I stroked one cheek and said to myself with astonishment: „I like this face, but how did I ever get it? Is it possible that it is mine?“ The image I rather expected was a long, serious older face surrounded by light or whitish hair, with deeply sunken eyes, with an expression of worry or great seriousness. Then I sighed with resignation. The memory brought back to me sounds of my mother and father laughing over my revelation. I felt stuck in my role of a girl child. But after all it was not the worst deal! I concluded.
Another interesting Deja vú occured when I was about fourteen years old. We were with my parents leaving the Dolnopočernické cinema, where we had seen the romantic movie „Světlo jeho očí“ (the light of his eyes). It was about a young blind rich man and his nurse. They fell in love and were to be married, but the young man suspected his fiance wanted to marry him him out of pity. Even so the story had a happy ending. As we were leaving the movie hall I was crying profoundly with „crocodile tears,“ as my mother called my tears. My mother wanted to console me, and tried topacify me by saing: „Georgina, do not cry over this young man. The actor you have seen was not even blind, he was just pretending! No need to be so upset!“ I responded silently: I am not crying for this particular story or this actor. I am crying for all the blind people of the world. Those who have to spend their whole liefetime in darkness, finding their way only by touch and sound. How pathetic! I know, for I remember what it is to be so isolated, lost at times, a life in darkness!“ And back to me for only a moment, came the recollection of such existence. - In darkness – living by touch and sound.
Here belongs another recollection: The year was 1939, March 15th and I was fifteen.
On that day (spring 1939) I was in the kitchen in our home in Jahodnice in Prague. When my father came home that afternoon he called in an excited voice to mother and me: „Do you know what´sthe news today?“ We answerded: „No.“
„The Second World War was proclaimed today!“ my father daid in a voice filled with apprehension. Some voice inside me called out“ „War, again war! How many wars do I have to live through- before people will discover that wars are harming everybody! They bring so much pain and suffering for everybody!“ I was stunned! My young personality somehow answered: „How can you say that?“ I searched my memory and answerde: „You were born in 1924, the First World War ended in 1918 and there wasn´t any war in Europe nor in our country since then!“ But I remembered many years! I felt these thoughts inside me. „I remembered many wars! I felt these thoughts inside me. „I remembered the suffering, the anguish, the humiliations of lost wars! I even remembered to be in the middle of one! With the emotional pain of a lost cause!“ A vision developed within me: I was standing in front of some big geats. I was a strong, enthusiastig man, about thirty years old. I valiantly held some weapon in my hand, but I knew that the attackers were much, much stronger than I. I knew they would win, kill us all and kill our just and righteous cause. Death did not scare me, but the destruction of all that we believed in gave me tremendous pain in my heart! It was a pain, which my fifteen-year-old person or personality had not experienced before! Its depth scared me!
Then I came out of my vision- and wondered what to make of it? I lacked any explanation. In conclusion I decided that it showed me that I could be a person of courage. „This war will demand courage, I wuill have it!“ I said to myself. „When the opportunity comes, I know I will be courageous!“
I postponed my conclution of all such Deja-vu glimpses and feelings, which were many more, but rather less significant.
Then one day I decided the time was right to rethink all my experiences and to come to some conclusion of how to approach my present life. Also, the time was right to stop hoping that someting would happen to shilft me to my „true“ personality, or perhaps to my former personality!
I was sixteen years old when one day I locked myself in my own room for some ours and talked to myself in the third person as I often did: „Georgina, it is one thing to be a child and another to be considered an adult. You are soon entering adulthood. As the only child in the family, you could have been whatever you wished to be, but as an adult you have to be committed to your role, either male or female. You were clearly born as a girl, and considered to be a girl. There is no hope for any unexpected changes. Let´s give them all up! Clearly it is your fate that God wants you to live this life as a woman, whatever his reason. Our first president, Masaryk, said: „Whatever you do, do it well!“ I admired our president and decided to accept my role as a woman humbly and sincerely and fulfill it well. Secratly I kpt my conviction, that in spite of outward physical differences, the inner core of men and woman is the same! In the 1940´s the position of women was still half-way in the old subdued way, just barely starting toward equality.
I felt that in my disposition there were actually so-called masculine qualities like determination, ambition, purposefulness. Taking into account, that here (on earth) we live mostly in pairs, one male and one female, I would be paired with another male. In a way we would understand each other and together would do well in many fields! I felt I detested the role of the female tied to the kitchen and household duties and childrearing limitations. I decided that with my inclination for business, I could succeed in many fields if I would get a chance! That if I would marry at all, I wanted my marriage to be a partnership with not only equal privileges, but also with equal duties and burdnens. I decided that I would rather stay single than enter into an unsuitable marriage, since that choice was permitted by contemporary society. I respected the achievements gained by men, but looked on household duties as unfulfilling and unappreciated.
But, how to learn to be a perfect woman and impress everyone with the femininity? I contemplated. That morning we had a rehearsal for a play called „Sůl nad zlato“ (The salt above gold), a fairy tale play for children on Jahodnice, where we lived. I remembered that the young man who played the role of the king in the story, while only seventeen years himself, asked the stage director: „How can I play a king if I never even saw a king?“ „You did not see any king“ was the director´s answer. „But you saw and met men of importance, like the manager of the bank, the participal of the school or the mayor of the city. They all speak slowly, emphatically and confidently. Watch them wen you have the oportunity and imitate their style!“
From then on, I observed young women around me and started to imitate their conquettish and feminine way of talking, smiling, and acting. I think I became convincing in my new style. I looked on my role as a woman as a role on the stage of life from then on!
I was lucky to meet my husband, my life partner, who believed that a woman could achieve more by working outside the household. During our lifetime together we shared seven businesses and prospered financially. It meant, that I had to work very hard at times, particularly when our children were young. During those days I worked in a business full time and late at night I did the household duties. But I was happier than being confined to the kitchen
I inspired many women to folow my example. At the end of the 20th century most women were already active and working outside the home.
Once, during a business conference, a businessman looked at me and said: „You look like a woman, Georgina, but you think like a man!“
I am very happy that I witnessed the change that women became appreciated in many fields, considered as quality talented and capable as men or even better, even if it varied from field to field or profession to profession!
One last comment: I felt old inside during my childhood and growing up years. Now, when I am „old“ in years I don´t feel old inside, I feel ageless!
How to contribute
The Czech Dialogue exists thanks to voluntary financial donations from people from all over the world.
Even you have the opportunity to contribute to its administration with any amount.
Howdy from Texas II
Češi v Texasu jsou výrazná a specifická komunita, která žije v tomto státě USA již od 19. století.
Reportážní česko-anglická publikace šéfredaktorky Českého dialogu.
Brožovaná publikace, 184 stran, cena v ČR 200 Kč + poštovné, objednávejte na: email@example.com
(ceny a platby pro zahraničí sdělíme)
- Beseda - Belgie
- Czechfolks.com Plus
- Časopis Čechoaustralan
- Česká centra
- Česká škola bez hranic
- Český výrobek
- Demokratický klub
- Jana Garnsworthy DipTrans IoLET
- Libri prohibiti
- Nový domov, Toronto
- Průvodce Rychnovem
- Rádio Perth
- Rádio Praha