I CHOOSE ME
I have finished packing my bags and stacked them in a corner behind the large settee. I took a last stroll around the house. – my prison for many years.
As I stepped into the living room, my eyes fell on the brown settee. I had gotten it as a gift in med school. It was made of a soft cloth. It had a high back where I have laid my head and its ached over the years.
It was a jolly good fellow and very accommodating too.
There were days I would come home and splatter my heap of books and stationary anywhere there was space. And there was always space.
I would crawl lazily to the kitchen and grab a bite. Cuddle up on the settee and either listen to my neighbour’s children howling away in childish excitement muttering gibberish or I would drown myself in thoughts of how this mountainous climb was gradually doing me in.
We were a pair. Inseparable until now.
Oh! My! I Was going to miss this huge chunk of furniture. Too bad, the courier guy came with a van a bit smaller and so my friend ‘the settee’ wouldn’t be traveling with me.
We had shared several intimate moments. Times when I had to unburden my soul, my anguish, and had cried many tears. Nights when I was alone and the weather was cold, it had provided succour against the raging storm.
Over the years, it has stood solidly behind me, giving me a quick shoulder to lean on, never judging, silently drinking in frustrations and now I am going to leave it behind. My heart sank.
I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away and it would be the death of me to hand it over to someone else. I would be ridden with thoughts of its welfare. I could see myself running across time to check on it.
I was running from myself or so it seemed. I was going to a new job, a new city, a new home. I turned in my resignation yesterday and amidst bewildered looks and veiled mockery, I held my head up high. Picked up my office items, and folded my ward coat neatly. Hugged a few nurses here and there.
I flew to the car where it was in the parking lot. It wasn’t hard to recognize. I had parked it facing the gate for an easy exit. I had envisaged a tumultuous parting and had prepared for it. I planned to get it into the car and drive away swiftly. No turns, no maneuvers. Just drive straight ahead and leave.
As I put the key into the ignition and lighted the car, it made its characteristic squeaking car that announced my arrival. Nobody heard me leave the hospital as I was usually the last to leave and even so in the dead of the night.
My hands fell on the steering and it felt like the latch to my teahouse gave way. I was taken aback by the free flow of tears. I wanted this life earnestly and now I needed to flee it to remain sane.
I let the tears loose and did not attempt to wipe them off. This made a small rivulet on my chin and fell like drops of rain into my feet. A car honked behind me and plummeted me to the now.
I had lived this dream long enough, it was time to face my reality. It was time to be me again- The little gal who had chased butterflies down the road. The one who got fascinated by the frogs croaking in the stream nearby.
That girl had been sleeping through a pile of notes and high textbooks. She had snored when patients trooped in with their woes, pain, and aches. Age survived nights of relentless talking, cajoling, and decision-making.
She has been pushed far back enough but she has awoken. She may have crawled nay wriggled her way to existence but now that she is here, she wasn’t going back. The me in me was alive.
I was descending the social scale and I was falling stupendously. It was my life – I needed a breath of air and sewing had brought oxygen. I dare not resist this offer. It was a new life and was willing to stake the odds
As I stepped out the door, I knew a bit of me was left behind. My life would never be the same again. But I would give anything to be the visit the new.
One glance at the room and my whole frame shuddered in brisk reality, I felt like a refugee. I was going to take anything thrown at me, at least for a respite. My whole life was taking a new turn once again. But how did I get here?
I changed jobs!
I was gleefully drifting away from mundane to activity. At age 13, I enlisted into an academy that would usher me into the path where I now stand at the crossroad. This morning, I took the first step leftward. I had chosen to take another go at life again albeit in a different route.
We were young, and the bright and flashy appealed to us. So as the tall huge gentleman clad in white spoke effortlessly on that career day, my fate was sealed.
I wouldn’t know if it was his looks, the white robe that made him angelic, or the smooth talk that nailed me. But from that day, I walked, talked, and dreamt of being a doctor.
So what is a career in medicine like? Who cares to know? I didn’t!
And today at 40, I wished I had listened a little more intensely, asked a few further
questions, and done a little digging.
I was a doctor and I hated my life!
A career is a huge chunk of your life, if not a summation of it all. It is one aspect of life, we jump into armed with little more than”hearsay”.
I paid the price of such wanton stupidity hoisted upon me by the society I live in. Now I am jumping ship. I am discovering myself and I have chosen to live again. Live to the fullest.
I was going to be a seamstress. I love the creativity. I love that I can birth an idea in my sleep and watch it come to life.
I have toyed about this for a while and I was finally saying “yes” to me. It felt good. I felt the chain of bondage give way, the grip of acceptability slipping. I am my new me and I didn’t care if you like me or not.
I was going to make ” me” my career!
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