‘The world breaks everyone and afterward some are strong at the broken places’ – Hemingway
I often wonder about how much of what we hold onto we do so out of want or a sense of duty and obligation. I listen to people talk, men and women, I especially listen out for any indication of duty in place of want that has led them to choose the life they are living.
Some may say that being dutiful is a sign of strength and selfless love, others may argue it is a sign of weakness and fear… I don’t know where I stand on the subject. I understand both views. I understand the strong sense of duty that we all possess and the fear to admit this to anyone else, even ourselves. Sometimes the bonds that once tied you to a place, a person or an object, have lost their grip and you no longer feel the strength of those ties, they have become too loose for your liking, you feel as though you could detach yourself at any moment. But then you don’t and you stay in that position for longer than necessary, never quite letting go but never fully holding on, only feeling the struggle more and more with each passing day but never seeing a way out. If you do see a way out, you give yourself 100 reasons why ‘out’ will do you no good and staying ‘in’ will eventually be of benefit to you. After all, what are a few days, weeks, months even years of unhappiness compared with a lifetime’s worth? Staying ‘in’ will reassure you that all the time you have invested was worth it, you can tell yourself ‘no you didn’t waste your time, you stuck it out and now you can reap the rewards’, but what do the rewards look like in comparison to the pains you endured to receive them? What is a reward that has lost its shine long before it even reaches you? and what if it means absolutely nothing to you in the end?
We endure much more than we need to, much more than necessary because we think to give up would be a terrible loss of our time, it would be selfish of us to say that we didn’t think the path we were on was the right one for us, the place we were in was not the place for us, think of all that time wasted, those years, the energy and for what? It would be better to talk yourself into staying exactly where you were, it would save you the stress of having to start over and figure out a new path, it would limit the risk and you could endure, because when you endure than surely you receive something in return, it’s only fair after all.
And then there’s the other thought, the more daring thought; what if you choose you and you think to hell with the investment, to hell with wasted time and you decide that it would be unbearable in the beginning and cause you endless nights of unrest, regret and what if’s, but if you got through it and made it to morning, then eventually the clouds will lift and give way to something more beautiful, something worthy of you and your cause. And your home will become wherever you make it because you would have freed yourself from whatever was holding you back and the days of endurance will be a thing of the past.
There are so many roads and they all lead us somewhere different, we can’t possibly get the end before travelling through the middle.