Thursday’s Child

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

I was born on a Thursday. It fits. Born with itchy feet, I have spent my life pursuing whatever lies around the next corner, over the next hill, in the next country (or as far away as I can get). It’s perhaps the reason I am a Jack of All Trades; once I’ve tried one thing, I want to try something new, rarely sticking around to become an expert at anything.

So strong was my inbuilt need to explore the planet, I arrived two years earlier than expected by my parents. They were due to take my three older siblings to live overseas for a year while my father was on sabbatical and they planned to have more children after they returned home. Obviously, I got wind of the plan (wherever I was) and decided there was no way they were going without me. My first passport photo was taken in the hospital after my birth – you can see the identity bracelet on my wrist. Even though I remember none of it, I love the fact that this is a part of my history. I’m not so sure my parents were as thrilled, suddenly finding themselves travelling with a 3 month old baby in addition to three children under 10.

I learnt to walk as soon as possible. I was so small, I could walk under the coffee table. And I became a notorious wanderer. Taking me shopping inevitably led to an announcement over the store PA: “We have a small girl at the front desk. She is about two years old and wearing a green jumper, brown corduroy pants and red lace up shoes. If her mother is in the store, could she please come and collect her.”

When I was three years old, I rode my tricycle from our home to a neighbouring suburb nearly four miles (about 6 km) away, crossing several major arterial roads en route. A friend of the family found me. Unbeknownst to me, my parents had the entire neighbourhood out looking for me. I wasn’t worried. I was out on an adventure!

Thursday's Child

I ran away when I was six. It had grown dark by the time I reached the house of my friend who had agreed to run away with me. I was still standing outside her house, waiting… and waiting… when my parents pulled up in our car to take me home. My friend never came out. I’ve never really forgiven her for that. I could have made my getaway if I hadn’t had to wait.

Lucky enough to be taken overseas again when I was twelve, I spent the next eleven years saving my money to go back. And sure enough, at 23, I made the traditional young backpacker’s pilgrimage to grotty hostels, dodgy trains and fleeting friendships.

I’ve been fortunate in my adult life to be able to travel regularly. I’ve seen some amazing parts of the world and experienced the wonder of our diverse cultures but a common understanding of life.

Now, you may be reading this thinking, “Well, I was born on a Wednesday and I’ve always been complimented on my sunny and optimistic disposition.” Of course. After all, it’s a poem not a proven prophesy. Like the broken clock, with so many people on the planet, it has to get it right some time.

Amusingly, I tend to fit the prescribed traits of both my star sign and the numerology for my name.

Whether you are a devout believer, dismissive atheist or bemused agnostic when it comes to allocated character traits, sometimes it can be useful to know what yours are. It doesn’t have to dictate your path in life, but it could help frame your personal narrative, give context to self-understanding or perhaps just contribute a humorous facet to a story from your past as it has for me.

I’m always looking for the next adventure. It doesn’t have to be overseas travel. It may be local travel or it may not even be travel at all. I continue to try new things, take up new hobbies, explore new places, always wanting to see what else is out there. As a Thursday’s Child, I still have far to go.



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