Yesterday I finished reading the book “Testament of Youth” by Vera Brittain. I have had the book for over a decade in my library, but each time I held the book in my hand to read, I put it right back. I lacked the courage to do so for two main reasons:
First because at the time I bought the book in 1991 in Dubai, the memories of yet another war (civil war) that I had lived through were still so fresh in my mind, and second I was living in Dubai at the time when the Gulf War started in 1990 and ended in 1991. So I had already lived through two wars, not at the magnitude of World War I, which the book covers, but for anyone living through any war it is enormous enough.
Throughout the entire story, I felt my life unfolding in front of my eyes, as I found lots of similarities between the author’s dreams, her life, her loss and mine. And after I put the book down I realized that some things in life never change. That life is still the same although the way we live has changed over the years.
Throughout the years I have learned that some things in life are meant to be broken. Few are the people who have made it through life without any cut, without any interruption, without any loss or heartache, without any hole or bend in the road. Life has never been perfect for many, myself included.
My life although peaceful at times has always been chaotic. I guess that’s the universe’s way of providing contrast. And each time I have been hit I have learned to stand on my feet with a bat in my hand for as Dr. Seuss wrote:
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
I have read and heard people say that life is a game and that you have to play by its rules in order to have a life of your own. Sometimes you win, but most of the times you lose. During those times that you have lost, you have to take a moment to listen to your inner voice, because when the world around you shuts down the only thing left for you is to listen to your own voice, to your own heart. There you might find all the answers you are looking for because:
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” Dr. Seuss
I have also found out though the hard way that some things don’t last forever while others do, like a good book, or a good memory. A memory that you can pull out and unfurl in your darkest moments, and recognize the person you were there and still are if only you allow yourself to carry on, to continue. In the words of Sarah Dessen:
“Some people, they can’t just move on, you know, mourn and cry and be done with it. Or at least seem to be. But for me… I don’t know. I didn’t want to fix it, to forget. It wasn’t something that was broken. It’s just…something that happened. And like that hole, I’m just finding ways, every day, of working around it. Respecting and remembering and getting on at the same time. ”