There it is again – that sinking feeling catching me off guard, telling me that I’ll never be able to live the kind of life that I want to. Why must I be so greedy about everything?? It’s honestly a little (okay, very much) heartbreaking when I think about all the books that I want to read that I can’t, all the films that I want to watch that I won’t, all the places I want to be, but am not.
And I swear I have been trying to find peace with myself by living day by day, absorbing whatever happiness there is in a moment. Even just last week, I was doing just fine, feeling grateful for the little things that can define my life… But I’ve grown afraid so quickly that I’ll never achieve anything that I want to, and I feel so utterly petty that I am falling into old habits of defining the goodness of my life by labels and… just UGH.
Ugh, ugh, ugh.
The days when I’m reminded of Sylvia Plath’s beautiful but cutting words are just so hard. I hate being able to relate to her words so perfectly and having my greatest fears committed on ink by someone else; even if it does give me a conflicted sense of solace to know that I am not the only one:
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.
What to do with this mess of a life…?
And you would laugh, but I really did fall into spiralling despair after I once again bought a load of books that I won’t read for quite some time. It was also worrying me that I still have this stubborn affinity towards children’s books and YA – it’s almost like a refusal to grow up that I can’t stomach… But what about the fact that real growth means being able to accept that such definitive lines do not exist in separating stories, whatever form they take – literature, picture books, fairy tales, etc.? I am so conflicted – why must life hurl lemons at me at every step?? UGHHH