September 30th, 2015
I’m so completely and utterly terrified of “ordinary-ness.”
If you’ve had the good (?) fortune of reading my stories then you will know that every encounter is a fairy-tale, every event is monumental, and every decision is a fork in the road. I live my life like the main character in the modern epic. Not unlike Odysseus on his voyage, my journey is no less dramatic, no less symbolic and no less a heroic adventure.
I’m so afraid after this life of intense joy, intense pain, and betrayal; as a wizened old maverick I will settle into a very ordinary life, married to a kind but boring man, living a typical 9 to 5 life, in a routine with two kids and a dog. It’s what I see happening to my friends all around. Dropping like flies into a honey pot of apathetic politics and pathetic children (shudders), talking about retirement and mortgages, and just so caught up in the day-to-day, they’ve lost sight of the passions and desires that used to drive them to DO.
Honestly, I don’t want to go to Machu Picchu* because EVERYONE’S idea of a bit of adventure in their life is to go to Machu Picchu. I don’t want that. I don’t want a once or twice a year vacation to an “iconic” location to be the only adventure in my life. I want to move to a small cottage on the Scottish coast and write (or attempt to write) a book. I want to exist on Ramen, canned tuna, bourbon and cigarettes. I want to volunteer for a human rights organization or a non-profit in Burkina Faso and live with nothing. I want to see Mohenjo-Daro and the pyramids in Egypt now because those are places people are too afraid to go. I want to experience different places. Be exposed to people and life in its bare, essential, raw, basic form.
** The use of Machu Pichu here is only an example of a place that seems touristy. I would LOVE to visit Machu Pichu someday.
I admit the possibility of an ordinary life conjures images of a warm, comforting and easy life. Sometimes, very very occasionally, I think how nice it would be to live a quiet secure life like that. I think about how nice it would be to have someone to share the day-to-day pressures with, to not be solely responsible for everything in life. A life of love, a house full of joy. I would be an incredible mother….
BUT NO! I want more from this life than ordinariness. I’m realizing that this thirst for adventure is beyond the thirst for travel. I want new people, new experiences, NEW DESIRES, new knowledge. How do I know what I want when I don’t even know all the possibilities? What’s more, when everyone else is finding the joys of being a wife and mother, who is finding the joy of being an adventurer? We must have a few of those too, no?
It’s endless… they are all falling into the void (just this weekend 5 couples I know got engaged- that’s not an exaggeration.) All my friends falling into the endlessness of becoming a NONSELF (or craving the same- apparent result of some biological clock); permanently becoming and being defined as someone’s wife, husband, mother, father. It seems to me that “marriage-and-children” is a dream that ends all other dreams. Honestly, I’m happy for them. They found what makes them happy… It’s just not the same thing that would make me happy right now.
July 20th, 2016
My love life has been condensed into 51 words of newspaper print. An ad has been placed to search for the love of my life, by my parents, who fell in love and got married 30 years ago this year. My parents, who set the standard for love, who defined what marriage and partnership means have been compelled to find a mate the “traditional” way for their eldest daughter. I saw 2 letters today, a father and a mother looking for a mate for their sons. Reading the note, it feels so cold and distant, a transaction.
I ranted and raved about this a few years ago. About how this is not for me. But I’m not resisting anymore. Mostly because I think it’s hopeless. But also because it doesn’t make sense to upset my parents plans because of some misguided egotism. If I was going to find someone on my own, it would have happened by now. And anyways, what’s the harm in trying?
February 14th, 2017
Valentine’s Day seems like a good time to share with a laugh that not even a marriage proposal in the newspaper was a successful avenue of finding that one life partner every woman is meant to be settling with; that’s right, there isn’t anyone after more than 6 months of searching. Apparently the love of my life isn’t checking the “matrimonials” of the Sri Lankan newspapers. (Big surprise! Haha)
But something happened in January. Somehow, something inside me that wasn’t fully together, something fragile and delicate and a little cracked was magically “Occulus reparo!-ed” into newness.
And this newness suddenly made me realise the quiet desperation I was living in, wondering if the next man I’m introduced to is the man I will marry. I suddenly realised how angry I was at being made to feel incomplete, sub-standard, or that something was missing in this gorgeous life I’ve created for myself, because I didn’t have a man or a marriage in my horizon.
So I came home and told my Ma, “Let’s stop Amma. People would kill to have my life. I have a job, a career; I make a decent living, enough to provide for a child if I wanted one, and enough to give myself anything I want. I have spirituality & religion, a core group of friends and family that enhances the quality of my life. I have a laugh, and a smile and a skip in my step. Don’t make me feel inadequate because I don’t have a man. And don’t convince me to settle for someone who can’t match my expectations of life, for the sake of fulfilling a social norm of pre-historic and basic biological necessities.”
And she said” You’re right.” (Cue explosive happiness of the best kind!)
So now I’m living my life devoid of ordinariness, or full of ordinariness, or whatever I want it to be any given day! Challenge accepted??