I had the strangest day this Thursday while at work. A friend of mine had shared an upsetting story of a friend of hers whom had tragically passed away because of working too hard on a project.
Her friend was young, successful, married to her college boyfriend, and had a newborn child and a pet. They seemed to live the kind of life that I liked envision for me when I plan for the future (a beautiful house, a partner, a pet and children).
The only thing me and my friends could discuss was how fleeting life was, and how everything can change in the flash of a second.
Throughout the day as I worked late into the evening, all I could think of was how when you’re dead – you’re dead. The people you leave behind have to pick up the pieces and find a way to go on without you. As cut and dry as that sounds but that’s all I could think of as the day passed by.
What’s the point of living when your only legacy is how hard you worked, and how idealistic your life is? What’s the point of breaking your back and sweating blood to earn to fit into this grossly shallow standard of living that people nowadays emulate because you measure success in how fast you can upgrade your iPhone 6S to a HTC 10 or switching your Lexus for an Audi?
I’ve always been in two minds of what I’ve wanted to be as an adult. A part of me wants to be this visionary filmmaker who’ll do movies that encourage dialogues and debates about social issues and our ability to feel emotions. Another, but stronger part of me feels that I’m meant for helping people because my insides tear apart when I read about women being sold as slaves to the ISIS, and animals being sold to inhumane slaughterhouses and queer people being treated as scum.
A part of me feels like I’m supposed to take up arms against awful things, and then give back because I keep getting angry that the world isn’t changing as fast as it should, and that we’re running out of time. Another part of me wants to be selfish and work for things that will bring joy to me.
Is it really possible to have it all?
Can a woman in the twenty-first century be known as this visionary groundbreaking filmmaker but still be this activist who goes to the mat for people who can’t? Can this woman also be a wife, a lover, and a mother? Can she still find it in her heart to house the broken but still love her children unconditionally and feel that sadness when she thinks she’s being unfair to one of them?
While I want to believe that yes – yes, I can do this because I’m not like the rest. I don’t know if I’m just saying this because I’m trying to emulate Uzumaki Naruto from Naruto, or just someone who only knows how to talk big instead of putting her money where the mouth is.
Life is too short and too fleeting for us to be defined by what the world tells us we should do or be doing.
Which is why I’m probably going to be that person – the one who’s always going to put up a fight, and rage at the fact that she has to define herself because the world makes her do it.
Not because she wants to.