I spend my evenings usually rummaging through books in a public library or some old bookstore.
I just love the smell, feel and touch of the books. I just love everything about them. Books give wings to my imagination. I can just be whatever I want, I can be that woman in a faraway land in the midst of pine trees and butterflies, or I can be that sassy and assertive woman in high heels with Chanel bag. Or I can be that woman making history in the courtroom or a countryside woman tending my kitchen garden.
My habit of reading story books in my childhood culminated into reading fiction in my adulthood.
Reading about all the fanciful ideas and characters helped me escape my reality or my stressful and sometimes boring and unexciting life situations and circumstances.
Ok, this was little too much about my reading habits.
I wanted to write about how we sometimes we imagine that we want to live the life of others.
At every stage of my life, I have found people living the life I longed for. I always managed to come across someone who I think leads a perfect life. Their job, their clothes, their personality, there is always something about them that I admire and makes me live their life.
When was studying to become a teacher, I wanted to be a successful lawyer because I heard a famous woman lawyer giving an inspiring and powerful speech.
When I was taking my law entrance exam, I wanted to be a professor because I liked the way my professor was dedicated to the world of ideas and knowledge.
When I was doing my research thesis, I wanted to deliver a killer presentation to some high worth client in a big corporation. I am sure I must have read some article in a glossy magazine about some prominent corporate executive.
A few months ago I wanted to be successful author whom I started following (not stalking) on social media.
Her social media images, made me fell in love with the idea of being her. Everything is so perfect in her life; her countryside villa; her chic clothes; her perfect family vacation and in comparison what did I have, a dull and dismal life.
Life always presented a web of million possibilities and million directions for me to choose from. I tried a bit of everything but could not stay long in one job or profession because I lacked passion. The reason being I always wanted to live the life of others.
I never made the career or life goals that were true to my beliefs and aligned with my life circumstances. I thought the safest path is to follow others and be like them. This worked for a short while but backfired ultimately affecting not just my career but also personal and professional relationships.
As I years passed by, my dissatisfaction with life also grew. Life was just withering away like dead leaves. I got more and more stressed out and anxious about my future. I had multiple filters and ideas for a perfect life, and none of them were my own. I was tired of living in a fantasy world where everything was perfect and achievable.
Tired of aspiring for a conversation worthy life and failing miserably at it, I left it all one day. No, I didn’t run away to the Himalayas or went in hiding somewhere. I instead tried to redefine the meaning and purpose of life which was genuine and authentic to myself.
I realized it is better to face and accept my strengths and weaknesses and then redesign my life. And when I did this, all conflicts dropped, and I was no more divided. My life is no more picture or conversation-worthy, but it’s truthful. The process of rediscovering and redesigning is nowhere complete. I am still trying to become myself. But its surely a very liberating and exhilarating process. I now look at people and interpret events more objectively and rationally rather than emotionally. I am trying to pick up pieces and rebuild from scratch with new priorities and zest.
Now I have a life of my own which I understand, and it’s not perfect. Its real, still uncertain, messy but it’s my own.
I think these words by Layne Stanley sum up beautifully:
‘I’ve always looked for the perfect life to step into. I’ve taken all the paths to get where I wanted. But no matter where I go, I still come home.’
It’s time to get home!