A couple of months ago, I had a very nice conversation with my favorite ex of all time “HH”. About the things I’d rather be doing at that given point of time.
Well, before telling you about the details of that conversation I should first tell you about my year. This year I turned 31. And for the 1st time in those 31 years I can proudly say that I have completely wasted a year. And it is not related to how I was designed to only see imperfections. I really wasted this year. I can’t remember I learned a new thing, I can’t remember that I have done something that I wanted. If there is one achievement in this whole year it will be that I kept breathing. I held on to life. I didn’t listen to the voices telling me that it isn’t really worth it. I survived nights of heavy breathing and I had faith to wake up in the time all what I really wanted is eternal sleeping.
The thing with being in that place when holding on to life is the biggest of all achievements is that people can’t understand you. No one would see how breathing, as simple as it sounds, could be a real challenge. They will start getting their magical solutions out of the clichés closet. Go out, get a new job, have a new hobby, shopping and the rest of the long list of what people believe are mood fixers.
But the thing is, it is not a mood. It is somewhere deep. Let me try to explain. I had a bad year; well I am having a bad year. And that was preceded by many bad years. A bad year was never a problem; a bad life is what every human should expect. No one said life is a piece of cake. Life is a tough journey up a very steep hill. But we keep going up for a reason. Every now and then we get things that motivate us to keep on the journey we discovered was lame when it was too late to go back.
But sometimes, for some people, and in this very case me. You get trapped in a place where there are no ways either up or down the hill. You can always try paving a new road, but you will eventually get to understand that regardless how hard you try and how successful you will get, the road you will pave won’t get you longer than two steps ahead. Then you will get back to the trap of nowhere to go. And in many cases after paving the road and walking the two steps you earned you find that they actually led you to where you started and the effort was actually a complete waste of time and energy. And that you will have to try again, and re-trust your now so un-trustable instincts and resources to pave a new road and risk ending up at the very same place again.
For some, this is the joy of life. Actually, even if there is no joy in it, it is how life goes. We don’t get to choose. But it is just exhausting and shopping, eating, new jobs and whatever the people tell you to do to get out of that corner won’t work. At a point all these fix tricks will be a burden too. People themselves will be a burden because you will have to wear a content face while they are around because without that face you will get the lectures, and sometimes the sympathy which both aren’t what you need. What you really need is your two steps up the hill. The two steps you deserve after working your best. Regardless that some people will keep telling you that you should try harder and whatever you are doing isn’t good enough because others are doing more. And because others are doing more and your best is never enough you end up in that place, trapped midway with no sign of direction. And there holding on to life is the best you can do. The greatest of all achievements after realizing that even holding onto life is a waste of energy and time.
So, I was talking with my favorite ex about my bad year. I didn’t tell him exactly that I am barely holding onto life and taking it one day at a time. But I told him that I want a little miracle to move me my two steps up the hill with no strings attached. And I told him about the things I’d rather be doing now. I’d rather be able to drive my car instead of my irrational fear of driving. I’d rather be dating a handsome man, someone who isn’t fat, bald and is sure intellectually interesting. I’d rather be in a relationship with a man who genuinely loves me instead of those who marginally loved me along other things.
I’d rather be entertained than being entertaining. I’d rather get back to finish my master’s degree and even I’d rather please my dad and get back to work.
But the question is will any of these make me happy. The real question should be, am I unhappy?
The answer is simple, regardless how unhappy my words are. I am a happy person. I am flexible enough to get satisfaction from little things. Let it be a smile from a stranger or a complement from an old friend. Little things make me happy. And because of the abundance of those little things I am a really happy person. And doing the things that I’d rather be doing won’t make me any happier. On the contrary many of them come with either guilt built-in or unbearable level of stress and complications. I am better off and happier without all the things I said I’d rather be doing.
Actually the reason behind thinking of these things I’d rather be doing was that I met someone new. He is completely different, maybe representing every opposite thing I stand for. Yet, we got along. One of the main reasons we got along easily is that our differences will never actually meet. The beauty of virtual relations is that everything is in hypothesis and for people who think arguments is a hobby hypothesis is really all what you need.
So my new virtual friend, and because he is completely not me, got me thinking about lots of things. One of these things was am I impressive? Actually it wasn’t completely him; it was a sequence of events that made me wonder whether or not I am impressive.
Let me confess something, I am not really a typical girl. I know that I look like millions of girls and I am sure millions might be smarter than me. But I am not typical. Things go in different paths in my mind and I know it. I just don’t confess it because people will think that I am either arrogant or stupid. But I believe that I am sort of untypical.
And being untypical should make me interesting. And interesting could easily lead to impressive. But I don’t seem to impress anyone. I don’t seem to be showing how untypical I am, and even the worse is that you might get the chance to deal 1st hand with how untypical my mind can get and still that won’t interest you or in the least impress you.
I am sure that psychology has a term to describe a person who is self-centered and with huge ego issues. And that term will fit me best. But this is the way I am.
So back to being impressive, the things I told my ex that I’d rather be doing were the things I believe will make people see me more interesting. The fact that I don’t drive though having a car makes people see me as a coward, lazy and incapable person. Maybe if I was driving like everyone else I would have been more interesting.
Dating the intellectually interesting, un-fat, un-bald guy will make me more interesting too. And will make me impressive for many people. Actually getting a chance to date that guy means I am already interesting and impressive.
Work seems to be a huge issue for everyone. It is not important how I think, or what I believe. For people it is more important if I work for a multinational, international with whatever catchy name organization. Nothing else matters.
So according to the list of things I said I’d rather be doing to be interesting means I should be driving a nice car, I should have a job with a catchy name and I should be coupled up with someone who people will think is interesting and impressive too.
And then will come the question, does this make me impressive?
And the more important question why the Shimaa who is writing this isn’t interesting and impressive?
Why I should be doing things that I don’t really want to do, to get to people who won’t see whatever I am already doing?!
And then here we are back on the favorite square zero, all things said and all things done. My best is never enough, and I would have tried harder yet my hardest is never hard enough. I put myself out there knowing that there is no guarantee to have my two steps up the hill. But I try. And I proudly fail. And there is no shame in failure. And that’s why I try again and again but never with the same enthusiasm because a part of me is always lost in each trial.
There should be more to life than failing. There should be more to life than trying and falling back where you started. There should be magic. There should be rewards more than a stranger’s smile and a hidden complement. There should be more. Because if there isn’t more, I don’t know how long I can keep holding onto life. If there isn’t magic, it isn’t really worth living.