She was always doing what she had to do. What they needed her to do. What she was obligated to do. Hers was a life of ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘ought to’, ‘have to’…a life of imperatives. Sometimes she was compelled to believe that she had no will of her own. Maybe there were people like her and these people, through no fault of their own, were predestined by the greater life force to lead a life of submission, no assertion. For the greater good of mankind or something. Her sense of duty had, after all, always been superior to her hidden desire to be a free spirit.
Inside she was. A free spirit. A boundless soul. Her own person. She often lost herself in the worlds she created inside her head. In the universe of her mind she was queen. They knew her, understood her there. She did exactly as was her heart’s delight and there were neither societal statutes nor unspoken rules that tied her down to only the rudimentary parts of her humanity. In those quiet places inside her, she didn’t have to listen to the world’s chaos or conform to the standards set by her fellow mortals. Standards that made it impossible to thrive. Survival for the fittest, yes? No one mentioned anything about what happens after surviving. No thriving or flourishing. You wait for death- the only advantage of having survived being an extended period of existence to enable the posterity to materialize, that you may edify it according to those same standards. Generation after generation to no end. None of that in her dreams. She was an idealist, after all.
But here’s the thing with fantasy. It evaporates at the onset of reality and you’re left with that despondent feeling in the pit of your stomach: you’re but a slave in a foreign land and so it will be for always.
She wanted more out of her life than the world was willing to let her have. Wanting had always been considered the lesser; needing the greater. Want was a subsidiary of need, for it was self-centered, shallow and superfluous to want. But the fallacy of it all was not lost on her, even naïve as she was. Some wants took time to grow. And when they did they became needs. Needs which, if allowed to mature further, could become the very essence of one’s life. She understood. She wanted. She needed to want. To want her own way. To want her freedom. To want to be as she felt she needed to be. Without the yoke of duty resting heavy upon her. Without the pressure of standard and perfection. She wanted to be. Not to have or to do. Just to be.