Today I watched Revolutionary Road.
”If being crazy means living life as if it matters, then I don’t care if we are completely insane” says Kate Winslet
But how does one go about living life like it “matters”? Do you run away to Paris like the Wheelers planned to? Quit your job and dabble in arts? Devote your materialistic life to charity?
I won’t lie. There has been many a day and even phases where I have felt like April Wheeler. Times I have felt stifled by my own life. The failures and even the successes. The choices I have made and their consequences.
It’s easier to be forgiving of the past. If I am unhappy with the way things are, it’s a result of choices I made in the past. Bad choices maybe, but what I believed were best at that time. I am sure I weighed my options to the best of my knowledge. But I was younger then and aren’t we all allowed some foolishness when we are young?
The present is trickier. It makes me feel like a split personality. One part of me is lulled in to smugness by a comfortable existence. The other is discontented, restless and constantly questioning the aforementioned existence. Sometimes it’s terrifying, this battle of “Is” against “What if?”
One night, over two years ago, I sat right here on my couch talking to a guy all night long. Our conversation was surprisingly soul-searching for two people who had just met. That night he quoted Zach Braff from The Last Kiss, saying “I’ve been thinking about my life lately. It’s all feels pretty planned out. There are no more surprises” He added that his life was all good. But he knew exactly how his life was going to be and there was nothing left to look forward to anymore. Of all the things we talked about that night, this is what I remember best. Maybe because I was starting to feel the same way myself.
The dreamer in me has never got confused between dreams and reality. I always lived up to the practicalities. But in doing so, I’m afraid that I may have compromised on all those dreams I grew up with.
Dreams nurtured by the books I read and time on my hands. Strangely enough they were never about achievement. But about places I wanted to see, people I wanted to meet and things I wanted to experience. I dreamt of being footloose. I wanted to be in places where history was made. Meet interesting people, make random acquaintances and find someone to dream with me. I wanted to do something worthwhile and make a difference in someone’s life. I wanted to experience uncertainty, revel in the unknown.
That was my idea of living life as if it “mattered”. Of feeling life. I even had a plan until everyday life somehow got in the way.
But my life still is and always will be in my own hands. So maybe it’s not too late. Maybe now it’s time for my dreams to reckon with real life.