Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Secret

Jack was listening to Disney Music today.

One of the songs he played was "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)" from Hercules.

The last line of the song reminded me so much of my Australian obsession.

Meg sings At least outloud, I won't say I'm in love.

I officially became obsessed with Australia in the middle of August, 2007. That's the day we bought the plane tickets. Australia became a gigantic part of my life. I read about Australia. I talked about Australia. I thought about Australia.

Australia. Australia. Australia. I should have just made it my middle name.

But....I was secretly in love with Australia before that.

I just didn't tell anyone.

I'm not even sure I admitted it to myself. I knew something was up, though.

As the lyrics say, You swoon. You sigh....

That was how I felt every time we went to the Fort Worth Zoo and visited the Australia Outback section. I'd get weak at the knees every time I saw the big map of Australia.

Those secret feelings began early in March 2005. I'm not sure why I kept it a secret for over two years—why I was in denial about it all. I think I did leave hints here and there. I remember talking to Tim one day about visiting Australia someday. I said the plane ride wasn't worth a holiday.  But I said I had this feeling that one day we'd live there. I also remember going to the zoo with a spiritually-minded friend and confessing to her that I felt a connection to Sydney.

I might have mentioned Australia here and there to a few people. But I think I was very casual about it.

Once we bought the plane tickets, it's like the floodgates open. My secret love was no longer a secret. I let it all out.

So, what about you guys? Have you ever had a secret love and/or obsession that you later revealed to others?

I'm wondering if I just felt embarrassed to be so passionate about something.

My other guess is that deep inside I knew this particular obsession would completely change my life. I might have known it would have a huge effect on me, and maybe a part of me was scared of all that.

My other huge life-changing obsession was Cystic Fibrosis. That ultimately led to me finding my husband. It had a HUGE effect on my life. And I resisted that obsession as well.


  1. I'd love to hear the story of how you and Tim met. Care to share?

    Ummm... secret obsessions?

    I honestly don't think I have any. That must make me pretty boring.


  2. Fe,

    No secret obsessions ever?

    I wouldn't expect you to reveal any current ones....

    But you boring???? You're probably the least boring person I've ever met.

    The Tim story.....

    You might regret that you asked.

    I'll try to make it as short as possible.

    When I was in 7th grade, I saw an ad for a TV movie called Alex the Life of a Child. I think I saw it in a magazine at a doctor's office. I became very interested in the movie...but secretly so.

    I think part of the reason behind my obsession was a child in my life had recently died. He was my sister's best friend's brother and the first child I had ever babysat. And this movie was about the death of a child.

    I saw the movie. I don't think I was that impressed with it. But I became secretly obsessed. I found the book that the movie was based on. I hesitated buying it. I kept going back and forth. Yes/no/yes/no.

    I finally bought it and read it immediately--probably without stopping.

    Around that time, I had a friend come over from out of town. I remember being so obsessed with the book. It's all I could think about.

    Soon the secret was not a secret and I became very vocal in my obsession.

    This led to my sister and I having various sales to raise money for CF. I started volunteering at the CF office. I participated in fundraisers.

    I started writing stories about CF...including the first novel I ever wrote.

    Then I started working at the Cystic Fibrosis camp. This was when I was in high school. I think I did that four times. It was just one week during the summer.

    This all happened when we lived in Georgia. I became very attached to the CF community there. Then we moved to Tennessee. I tried getting involved there, but it was new people and it just made me sad.

    I kind of drifted away from the whole thing. I went to college and didn't really think much about CF. It was pretty much just part of my past.

    Then in my last year there, I was going through American Online chat rooms. I found one called CF. I wondered if it was about Cystic Fibrosis so I went it. It was. I blabbed on and on about how I used to work at the CF camp and how I missed it, blah, blah, blah. It turned out they made transcripts of these chats and they sent them out to various CF families on the mailing list.

    A woman wrote to me soon after and said her four sons went to the camp. She gave me their email addresses. I wasn't completely sure who her sons were, but I wrote them all anyway. Tim was the only one who wrote back. It took me awhile to remember who he was. I think once I realized he was Asian, I figured it out. I think he had been the only Asian person at camp.

    I sort of remember meeting him. But I was a VERY shy 16 year-old. I was very "young" for my age. I looked 12 and acted about 9. Tim was 21...VERY outgoing, mature, and social.

    I thought it was awesome that this guy who was once WAY out of my league was now emailing me. I developed a HUGE crush on him. And I soon made an excuse to come to NYC to see him......

    Sometimes I look at Jack and think you're here because of Cystic Fibrosis. All that led to us having you.

    Sometimes bad things end up making good things happen.

  3. That is a beautiful story! And a lovely legacy for Jack....

    Wow. I'm quite stunned.

    You're an amazing woman, Dina. I think obsession isn't the right word. I think it's passion.


  4. Fe:

    Thank you : )

    Yeah. Maybe passion is a better word.

  5. Dina I loved reading both your entry and your comment to Fe about how you met Tim. I want to hear the continuing story now of what happened when you got to New York??

    I remember you telling me in a round about way how you met Tim (through CF) but I didn't know the full story. It is truly a romantic and beautiful story :-)

    I don't have secret obsessions really. I develop them according to circumstance I guess. For instance I'm OBSESSED about Hawaii at the moment (heeheee, I wonder why). I lay awake last night thinking this time next year we would be there. I day dream about cooking up simple yet meals filled with love and us all sharing in them. Day trips. Covering what we all want to do yet doing it in our relaxed way..blah blah. I won't go on :-)

    I get obsessed about real estate. I love it. Love looking at houses. I should be a real estate agent but don't like the hard sell. I just like houses! I like watching real estate/home type of shows on Foxtel.

  6. Tracey,

    I'm getting obsessed with Hawaii too!! It's like I have my BIG obsession (which is Australia). But then I'll have mini-ones as well. Like recently it was Mamma Mia. Today I was obsessed with researching a certain controversial subject. A few months ago, I spent several weeks obsessing over Israel/Palestine.

    I'm so excited about Hawaii. I think the thing I'm most excited about is seeing you guys. I like looking at pictures of the house and imagining us all inside.

    Tim shares your obsession with real estate! He loves looking at houses. The sad thing is when he looks at houses, I used to think he wanted to move somewhere. So when he stops to look at houses in Australia, I get so excited. But now I've come to realize he just likes looking at the houses, comparing prices, etc.

  7. I'm glad I read the comments here... That is a beautiful story :-)

    On your Australia obsession, have you been to Bush Babe's blog? It is very Aussie and very entertaining..

  8. Allison,

    Thank you for reading the story!

    And thanks for the blog suggestion. I haven't read hers yet. I'll definitely add it to my list.

  9. i am in the camp that obsessions can get put of control but when they lead to something good like Tim and you ...well...that is great!

    Do you feel like you are maybe a reincarnated you think that would explain it...the obsession?

  10. Oh! I just thought of one!

    I love buying new books. And reading them. I could happily spend money that I don't have on books. And then on bookcases to keep them in.

    But I don't. Because I can't afford them.

    But when I could... I wasn't interested in clothes or shoes... only books.

    There. Does that count?

  11. Magikquilter: I think obsessions can get out of control. But I think for the most part, they're a good thing. I guess it would depend on what someone is obsessed with. I'm betting that most extremely successful people in the world are obsessive/passionate.

    Now if you have a STRONG interest in your ex-boyfriend, that's a different story. But if you have a strong interest in making science fiction movies or building new computer programs, I think that's great.

    As for reincarnation. I do believe in reincarnation. But I have doubts that this is why I am so passionate about Australia. I think if it was a reincarnation thing, I would have had the interest since childhood. And that isn't the case. I also wasn't born with any connection to Cystic Fibrosis.

    Fe: I would guess it counts! ????

  12. Hello Dina
    I don't know why it took me soooo long to come and visit your blog!

    What an interesting, passionate person you are. I will have to take a day off work and read your blog....'chuck a sickie' as we say in Aussie slang.

    You write from your heart, I love the way you express yourself. I also really enjoyed reading the story you told Fe about how you met Tim.

    I have travelled quite extensively since I was 17 but have never been to America.

    Since I started blogging last year it has become an obsession to visit the USA and Texas in particular. So I will be coming ready or not to your spectacular country in July 2010. Meeting up with several blogging friends and doing a road trip....Thelma and Louise style...without killing anyone!

    I am sure we will catch up too Dina, you sure sound like 'my type of lady'!

    Talk to you again soon.

  13. Peggy,

    Hi! I'm so honored that you think my blog is worth a sickie!

    So, how did you become interested in Texas?

    Where else are you planning to go?

    I'm hoping by the time you get here, I'll be one of your blogging friends : )

    We live in Fort Worth which is near Dallas. Any plans to stop there? thing. Texas is VERY hot in July!!