Challenges of living
If I can say that I don’t want to die here, would it make any sense for me to live here? Looking around today the world seems super congested and with the huddles of people in small spaces; namely cities, it is very hard to get a real sense of life. I understand now why people give up all that they know to go and discover. When life takes a routine route it makes those of us with free spirits feel shackled. That’s it! I feel weights dragging me down and making every dream a heavy challenge. I admire those kids who volunteer in the most uncomfortable of places in search of meaning as soon as they finish school or in-between academic milestones. They have a pureness and selflessness that I’m jealous of. They know that they will soon be tied to all the ropes of modern living and chose to go before the inevitable happens. I am in awe of professionals who look at their lives and find the true meaning of what matters to them then changing course. That shows courage that to me is faith. Others are happy walking by the side the of the sturdy walls never wanting to shack the ground or take an unknown step and I respect them greatly, but after trying to walk their path I feel my own wings have drooped and my feathers are fast falling. Maybe it is only when we lose the solid comfort that we truly experience the core flavour of life. Maybe risk is the true oxygen. Maybe I’m bored.
“I don’t want to die here.” That’s what I said to my friend who questioned my reasoning for leaving the city I now live in to go to the city she lives in, a kind of demotion because I am in the forefront of the world and will be reverting to the bottom of the barrel. Should we evaluate life according to convenience? If we all stayed at the forefront then what would happen to the rest of the world? With the wars, disease, famine and oppression leading to the huge influx of migrants we are all choosing the easy paved path. Who will build what was left behind? Maybe comfort is important but someone has to make the sacrifice. Why did I need to say that? After hanging up I thought about my statement and chastised myself for saying it. During the conversation I told her that it costs $15,000 to be buried and that the lease on the grave expires. What a morbid reason. Money is tight for the majority of us now and whereas in her city burial is under $500 and the lease never expires. Forefront has its own price. Have I reached a state of such discontent that death is now what I live for?
Throughout my life I have lived in 12 countries and traveled extensively, being a foreigner is not a concept I am unfamiliar with. New places and people have always excited me, but lately the days seem to melt into each other, waking and sleeping are very similar. This beautiful city with all that it has to offer is not calling my heart; every step I take is the weight of heavy bricks. My joints and body are refusing to cooperate and my body aches allover. My beautiful loving friends are always there shining bright for me, lending shoulders, holding hands and celebrating every tiny achievement, but something is missing. I never tell them what’s going on inside me because I feel I would burden them and there are few happy moments in life to shadow with my grey clouds. I am walking now like the Tin man waiting to be reunited with my heart. The doldrums of daily life feel like ropes that keep getting tighter and tighter around my neck.
For years I have ignored the signs my body and mind have been sending under the guise of responsibility. &%$7# responsibility! Who says that my life needs to stop so those around me can have a smoother day? What law prohibits me from doing and being what I want? It is 2017 and in case my conscience hasn’t heard the news yet; we are all free. Or are we?
My husband chose his career and is very good at his job, but he isn’t free. He is tied all-ways by responsibility. He now hates waking up in the morning, we have a very mechanical life and I keep looking for happiness in his face but can’t find it. Some days are good but they don’t last. It pains me to see his youth dwindle away with no satisfaction and I wish there was an answer. I wish I could tell him break free and lets take a chance on ourselves and life. He isn’t free! Like a slave he needs to go to earn his keep and pay his bills because that is what society expects of him. I am not free, because I am his partner and need to be by his side; otherwise I am a bad wife who doesn’t support her partner; akin to the witches burned at the stake for not walking the narrow path society has defined. After being a good wife, with a warm home, graceful hostess, good mother etc. I am here today alone contemplating where I want to die. That is the freedom left to me. I do not embrace this state of existence, but my good manners have so far stopped me from taking action against these chains.
“But that is the way the world has always been.” I hear you, and I accept we all have roles to play and choices to make, but the simplicity of the statement has no relation to the complexity of its execution. “It’s not the place that makes you happy, happiness is from within.” Again how simplistic and downright insulting that sounds. Of course it’s the place because the place is where you feel like you are comfortable or not. Of course external elements affect our emotions and moods otherwise we would all live in the wild, never buy ‘stuff’ we see on TV or dream of becoming a person we admire. This new psychology of the ‘me’ sucks! I cannot and will not exist alone or separate from the rest of humanity. I cannot go through life pretending that I am achieving for myself (like my husband) when in fact I am a slave to someone else. I’m too old to be a rebellious teenager, but I now have newfound respect for teenagers. By the way why do we try to break their spirit?
My son is now almost 20, still living at home, but an absolute angel. Not one made for this fierce race and he knows it. I respected his views from an early age and decided that we will learn together because taming him was painful for my soul. I never dictated without questioning my own beliefs. I never punished without feeling guilty and mean. If I want to raise a free man why then would I squash him and bend him to yield to my ways? What use is his mind if I turn it into a vessel that carries my voice? No I am not that person and I get no satisfaction from goading a free person.
I didn’t go through the hippie stage of life I was too young, so don’t assume that is what is influencing me and I am not one to approve of looking back. My grandmother used to tell us a story when I was a kid about three brothers who went on a journey into the wilderness, they were all given three pieces of advice, one of which was; ‘don’t look back.’ Obviously one of them did and he turned to stone. She was an illiterate woman with near nothing-real world experience, but the wisdom of the tales whose core morals are timeless. Looking back freezes you in the past and you cannot move forward. This has been an image that stuck to my mind and as my experience grows it seems more and more relevant.