What If…?

It was a blur when she opened her eyes. Nothing in the world made any sense. Why did she have to wake up? Or go to work? Why, in the name of God, did she have to start another busy week, doing chores and stuff that didn’t excite her enough to make her jump out of bed on a grey and cold Monday morning?

With one eye shut, her foot still dangling by the side of the bed, she stepped down, her feet firmly planted on the wooden floor. It seemed as if a voice inside of her was telling her that she had one single mission to fulfil today. Armed with an unmistakable sense of determination and purpose, she chose to find out her purpose in life. It might have seemed to be one ordinary morning for the rest of the world, but for her, it was anything but that.

As she stared into the mirror, she noticed how her body seemed bent. It didn’t take her long to realise that she had been in a sitting position far too long, and now her spine had gained a curvature that made her look old. She recalled how her doctor had mentioned this when he was going through her x-ray report last week.

Pulling herself up and straightening her spine for the first time, she saw a different woman standing before her, this morning. It perplexed her mind as to why she had been shoving her feet into a cramped pair of ill-fitting shoes each day, while her feet had been taking on a form that wasn’t meant for her. It was hurting her feet and she continued to suffer in silence when all she had to do was take it off and throw it away far enough so that even if she tried hard, she could never find it back again.

Life had occasionally thrown a good many promising opportunities her way. Truth be told, it was not fate, but her own indecisiveness that had brought her to where she was today—bent over by the burden of the thoughts of everything that she could have been.

For years, she had been blaming herself for her epic failures—the endless chiding, the constant shaming, the agonising, the self-loathing and the ignominy of it all—everything that used to keep her up at night, until she’d drift off to sleep, marinating in self-indignation. Day after day nothing would change. This morning, however, something had snapped inside, jolting her to re-think her life, totally, completely, inside out.

When she saw her life flash before her eyes, she knew one thing: this was not how she was going to let it end.

With unyielding defiance, she decided to put up a last-ditch resistance to destiny and fight for one more chance.

Today, was going to be that day.

It took her a long time to realise that life was never going to be easy. The world was definitely unfair and the game was rigged, but something told her she wasn’t going to the “woe is me” narrative anymore. She could clearly see how succumbing to self-pity had come to nought. It was time to shift focus elsewhere and take control.

What if it was time to stop waiting for someone to save her?

What, if she got active in her own rescue?

What if she fought against her impulses, to become the person she had always yearned to be?

What if all of this was actually possible?

It was not going to be easy, but definitely worth trying, after all.


Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday free writing exercise, along with my friends, Vinitha and Shilpa.

8 thoughts

  1. I love the way you’ve captured how self doubt and indecision can weigh us down. And yet, we so often get trapped in the same old thoughts and patterns. But one moment of clarity is all it takes to break that pattern and try again. And again.

  2. Absolutely! It’s worth trying. I am glad she realized that it’s time she rescued herself, instead of waiting for the prince charming to rescue her.

  3. Life seems like this lately. Been asking myself too what I need to change. Sometimes there seem to be too many things. But I decided to do just one thing or stop doing just one thing at a time. It has taken the stress off a bit. And the journey continues.

  4. I am glad she realised what needed to be done.

    It is definitely worth fighting for what we wish to do in our life. It is but one life we have, Esha, and to live it burdened with self-doubt, guilt, other’s expectations, will give us nothing but immense heartache. Why repent later when we can make changes now? Life is uncertain, and we never know when our time comes, right?

    1. That is so true, Shilpa. Women are second guessing themselves all the time, even when they have the talent and the capability. The stories of our lives, so many millions of us.
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Shilpa. ❤️

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