Monday, August 22, 2011

True Story

It was in that moment when she realized that she had to make a decision. Right then and there. There was no time for stalling or doubting or waiting. A decision had to be made, and she was the only one who could make it. It had to be her decision, because it would change her life forever. Yes, it would of course also affect the lives of the many people who surrounded her, of the many people who surrounded her because they loved her - because they love her. Yes, their lives would also be affected by her decision; but they would not be woken up in the middle of the night with the question, "Did I make the right decision?" circling in their heads. Their lives would too be affected, yes, but with time they would forget, the pain would go away, the anger would fade, the incomprehension would wither. But not for her - no, most definitely not for her. This decision, the one that she was facing in this very moment, would transform her in ways she had not even become to fathom. This decision would shape her. A small part of her would die, yes, because she would have to give something up whatever way she leaned. To decide, said once a wise old man, is to renounce. The moment she made her decision she would be using her freewill to consciously renounce to something else. There was a bittersweet irony in this renunciation, however, because regardless of what choice she made, she would still be renouncing to herself.

Yes, in order to make her decision, she had to give up a part of who she was, she had to let it go, she had to succumb to what others wanted and expected of her. But that was also what she wanted. She wanted to please and be pleased, she wanted to love and be loved, she wanted to accept and be accepted. But life is unfair, thus both could she not have. And she knew that. And because she knew that, she was willing go give a part of herself up, she was willing to let go of who she was to become that which she was expected to become in order to achieve a little, just a tiny little bit of harmony.

But that was not the decision she had to make - that decision she had already made. The decision to give up a part of herself was made the moment she realized that she had to make a bigger, more important, more intricate decision, the decision that startled her right in that moment. Which part of me do I give up?, she asked, half rhetorically, half hoping, wishing, that someone would give her an answer. None came.

Which part of her should she give up? Her past? Or her future? Which part of her should she give up? Who she was? Or who she is? Which part of her should she give up? What she became? Or what became of her? What part of her should she give up? That which she loves? Or that which is loved by her? Is that not the same anyway? Is it not all the same? The past makes up the future, does it not? Who you were makes up who you are, does it not? What you become is what became of you, is it not? That which you love is also that which is loved by you, only differently phrased, with a varying emphasis, with an ambiguous direct and indirect object, with an exchangeable accusative and dative subject. It is all the same. But still, it is not. And one of it has to be let go so that the other may continue to be.

Yes, a decision has to be made. But how to make it?

And as she was there, standing in the long line, people behind her anxious to move on, she held her ticket on her left hand and her passport on her right hand, and she dared to ask, with no tears running down her face, yet one more question:


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