Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween is Here Again!

Sometimes I wonder if Halloween is really for me or for my daughter. I get so excited thinking about all the chocolates my one and only child will be bringing home this year; how much I’ll eat, regardless of the side effect of deep regret the next day.

I comfort myself with the fact that I never really did experience Halloween until eight years ago, when my daughter turned three. At the time, we were living in New York City and we went with a group of parents, and their kids, from the children’s museum in Soho.

Halloween of 2003 was one of the most exciting times of my life. Lining up. Watching all those amazing, wonderful people hand out candy. I have to admit I was mildly curious as to why my daughter didn’t seem half as excited as I was, but it didn’t really bother me because, after all, she was only three.

Of course, when people started glaring at my outstretched hand and withholding their wrapped treasures, I decided it was time to get my darling daughter more into the swing of things. So I picked her up, gently placed her (half-open) hand in mine, and tempered my grin to a smile of mild curiosity. There was nothing much I could do about my eyes though.

In hindsight, as I observe my super-excited daughter gear up for Halloween this year, hinting, whenever possible, at how many BAGS of candy she wants to trick or treat with, I wonder if, maybe, I might have been just a tad bit too hasty in exposing her to so much fun.

Still, more than one bag stuffed with all sorts of chocolates and assorted treats… Yummm! Now I understand some of the benefits of having two kids. Or three.

Even four.        

Friday, October 05, 2012

Who is right, after all?

Years ago, soon after I started translating, I attended a translators’ meeting in New York City and heard a talk given by an executive from Bell. At one point, he said, and I paraphrase: “A person cannot be both a translator and a writer. The two don’t mix.” From what I understood, it had something to do with people not being able to write in both a technical and literary way.

Horror! Disbelief! Nooooooooooo!

What if this top executive guy was right and I couldn’t do both?

That was my dream!

I had a certificate of translation from New York University, so I had validation there that I had what it took to be a translator. Could I be a writer though? Was my writing even good enough?

I decided to ignore him. The alternative was not something I wanted to consider.

But… what if I had bought into his belief?

I meet so many people who believe strongly in so many things. I find myself admiring their passion and drive. At times I am drawn into their perspective and even buy into it, especially if this person holds a degree in something, or is considered an expert in a certain field.

Most times though, I wonder at their desire to convince others that their opinion is right.

Honestly, I have come to the conviction that everyone is right… in their own imagination. I’m not 100% sure if this is because we need to feel we are right so we can feel good about ourselves.

All I know is that I’m glad that I trusted my gut instinct all those years ago, despite the certainty and confidence in the speaker’s voice. And I think, that is all each of us can do: carry out an internal check every once in a while and trust in ourselves so we can do what works for us.

That’s my humble opinion anyway… in my imagination of course