Have you ever wondered about all the people that have been a part of you at some point in your life and that for some reason you have lost contact with? That even though they once played a significant role in your life, with the passing of each year you drifted apart and to such an extent that their absence was never felt by either of you. Stranger still, while living your own life and realizing your own dreams you never actually missed them. Until you meet with them again and it hits you. To use Ray Bradbury’s words:
“You lived with people every day and they never altered a degree. It was only when people had been off on a long trip, for years, that they shocked you.”
By now you are all aware of how I have changed cities and countries and moved continents. All in search of a better life for me and my family. A better life in a politically and socio-economically stable country. In other words somewhere where there is no war, no displacement, someplace where my children would be able to live with some dignity. With all honesty I thought I had found that place, the place that I could finally call home.
But in this process I have lost so many people that I would have loved to have kept close in my life. So many friends and family members whose presence would have enriched my life but who I drifted away from geographically. I have sacrificed all these precious relations just to secure a ‘better’ life. How better can a life be without your loved ones around you?
When we (my husband and I) were younger we had all these dreams and were so obsessed with working hard and trying to succeed. We did everything possible so that our children would have a better future than us in a better part of the world. And now that my husband is not here also I cannot help but wonder if it was all worth the sacrifice.
In what way is your life better if you are alone? When I look around me in the house at all those things that he left behind, I just feel sad. Wouldn’t it have been better if we had stayed with our families and friends? Why all the sacrifice? Was it worth it when he is not here anymore? What kind of future awaits me all alone? In the words of Ray Bradbury:
“She could not look anywhere, in this very instant, save into her heart, and there she could find nothing but uncontrollable repugnance and a will to fear. In this instant it was an individual problem seeking an individual solution. He must accept being alone and work out from there.”
We are constantly on the move seeking the impossible. We complain, we crave things we don’t really need. We do all this to be happier and richer, and when in the process we stop for a moment and realize we are not better than when we started, it hits us and we sit and think that we are the same fools we were except sadder and lonelier. To use Ray Bradbury’s words:
“The first thing you learn in life is you’re a fool. The last thing you learn in life is you’re the same fool.”