I had a revelation.
I ran a few boring but necessary errands and shopped a bit for those necessary but not so boring things (Clothes!Bags!Shoes!Make-up!Lingerie!) 🙂 . Then I browsed at my friendly neighborhood bookshop, picked up a movie, window-shopped some more and finally sat down to enjoy a Subway sandwich by myself. It has been so long since I did this that I’d even forgotten how rejuvenating it could be. And to think I revved up my social life because I thought this was too boring a way to spend a weekend!
And then I realised I was feeling invigorated because it was the first time in months that I was being myself. It turns out that I’m rarely if ever, my real self with other people. Also why family, best friend and a few select others don’t count as ‘other people’.
Work, leisure with other people and even relationships have become about entertaining and being entertained. We find our raison d’etre from outside ourselves. So, to continually be part of the process, I pay my membership fee. I entertain, inspire, amuse so that I am similarly entertained, inspired and amused. All so that I can fill my life with the things I want and feel good about how independant I am and how little I need other people. I use their words to fill up my silences, laugh at their jokes so I can experience joy, probe them to find answers to my own dilemmas. I live vicariously listening to the lives of other people different from me, so I can also experience choices that I haven’t made. And in the crowded, crowded life I have, I look for myself.
I am not here to judge this as a bad or good phenomena, it just is a natural result of the world as it is today. We are spoiled for options, each of us enriched and inspired. Individuality is our mantra and we are empowered to become independent units of our society. The mechanism works well enough but simply needs the electricity running through it….something we call inspiration or even the raison d’etre. And that is something that can only come from other people. So we find objects of inspiration…partners, lovers, friends, colleagues. And we create the life that is ours.
I realise finally that I am not as independent as I wished. And then I realise that I don’t want to be independent that way. I’ve lived the independant life long enough. Life is too big, too full and too wonderous to be experienced alone. I take responsibility for my choices and I now know that I need not do something just to prove that I can. I’ve proved whatever I needed to. And now I am ready to experience something that cannot be done alone.
I’ve screamed myself hoarse that I didn’t need a man to be happy and that I’ve been happy all this while without one. And yet, now I realise that hasn’t been true. Beyond the sex and romance and flirtation, far beyond that, there has been a consistent male presence in my life at all good times. There have been family members, friends and boyfriends. It may be as simple as a human being who approaches life differently, telling me not to think so much at a time when my girlfriends are in as much of frenzied thought as me. It may be a little more complex like a man who is the object of my affection, not understanding the way I care and caring, instead, in a way that I don’t understand. Steadily but without expression. And finally it may be as infinitely big as the masculine force in my life. The proverbial yin to my yang.
That’s a lot of things to realise over a Subway sandwich.