This is a snippet from an as yet untitled future novel. Enjoy!
Somebody once told me the definition of hell; during your last day on earth, the person you have become will meet the person you could have become.
I wonder if this is true. I mean, really, in any given life, you could be a thousand different people. Sure, we all have our innate personality traits, but there are a million opportunities.
You turn left one day instead of right, you could get hit by a car, or meet that famous person you’re always lusting after in the movie theaters. Maybe you finally take the dive and sign up for that painting class, or learn a new language and that’s where you meet the love of your life. Those choices shape you.
And then, are we really the ones that shape ourselves, or do others shape us? I would have remained a bitter, massive introvert living in the shadows if not for Daisy. She shaped me into something new, someone slightly more open.
I might go back to being a bitter massive introvert living in the shadows if I stay friends with Zachary. He’s so … infuriating.
He shapes me, she shaped me. Did I actually shape myself? Sure, I took the steps. I said yes, or no.
But at the end of my life, whenever that is, will I actually be faced with who I should have been?
I don’t like that way of thinking, because it’s as if we’re being told we’re wrong. Like we didn’t live up to somone’s idea of our potential. It’s my life, I have to be happy with it.
So maybe you meet all the people you could have been, but perhaps that would actually be more depressing. Maybe if you’re only faced with one version of what could have been, it’s not so bad. It’d be easier to nitpick, wouldn’t it?
You don’t like the way they’re dressed, or couldn’t actually picture yourself as … whatever else you should have ended up doing. But imagine if you were faced with a thousand different versions of who you could have been …
We could be anything. We could make ourselves from the ground up if we really wanted. We could also be equally happy as a poor farmer or as a massively wealthy celebrity. Happiness is different for people.
Maybe hell should be redefined as seeing yourself never living up to any kind of potential. I’ve risen to be more social and open, that’s a big deal for me. If nothing else happens in my life, I’ve accomplished at least this much.
There’s all more we can be, or do, sure. But are those our voices, or other’s voices? Sometimes that’s what I think hell is. Never hearing your own damn voice. All you hear is other people’s fucking judgements of who you are and what you’re not.
It’s always about what you’re not, isn’t it? It’s never about what you do that’s right or good, or praise-able. It’s always, you could be doing more. You should be doing more. You’re creative- do more with that.
You’re business savvy- start a business. Be successful.
God, it never ends. Ever. I hate those voices. Let me hear my own damn voice, follow my own damn compass.
I want to get to the end of my life and know that I owned it, that I lived it by my rules. Maybe that’s what it’s about though, that quote. Maybe who we could become is supposed to be who we’d be free of all those negative voices. Free of the triggers and the stubborn need to fight back just because. Free of the fight that you won’t be something because someone else wants you to be that. Maybe you can still be that, but not because of them. For you.
So, maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all. Maybe it’s about being you. I’m searching for that, but it’s hard. Sometimes I think Zachary is going to get me there, and other times I think I want to murder him because he’s so god damn aggravating, and then where would I be? On the run or in prison and you can’t make anything of yourself there- except for maybe forgiving yourself.
I don’t want to be famous. I don’t know who I want to be, I just don’t want the screams from my past to drown everything out anymore. I want to figure out who I am, what I should be, because it’s what I want for my life.
All it takes is time, right?