A good girl, she is a sweetheart to everyone around her. She is every man’s dream, every mother’s pride. She is a trophy wife and a trophy daughter. She is the prize that everyone wants to posses and show off to the society as their personal achievement. She is a validation to: someone’s correct choice and someone’s perfect upbringing.
If we take a closer look, we can find her everywhere. She could be our mother, sister, wife, lover, batch mate or the sweet neighbor next door to whom we run in the hour of need. We all know the kind. I have known one very closely.
It is past midnight and I am sitting in front of my computer in an attempt to write down a story which is not letting me sleep. I want to comfort and heal myself by sharing the load with someone. As we know, writing is one of the best ways to express our sentiments, desires, hopes, bliss and wounds. We can write what we want and vent our feelings to strangers who won’t judge.
I want to share a story; it is a story about a girl who forgets her true identity. She was busy running around people, pleasing them and getting their approval. They were the people with whom she shared her life; her teachers, family, relatives, friends, lovers. She was a busy girl; busy playing the role of a good girl. The one who is supposed to be: a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a good girlfriend, who is expected to keep everyone’s needs before hers. In the whole affair of pleasing others she forgot to please herself, she forgot who she really was. She forgot that few years back she had zeal to write, there was a budding talent which was never acknowledged as it was never shared.
In her college days she used to write small stories, personal essays, news articles, scripts, reviews. As life moved forward, she was drifted along and forced to blend with the flow. She simply forgot that she had the desire to write. No matter good, bad, average, not worthy of being published but at least she had an urge to write; and might even be recognized for it someday. As time passed, life took a different turn and things changed for her. She was occupied in taking care of trivial things, her priorities changed with the passing years. She started serving others, she became busy living up to their expectations and thought that’s what she was supposed to do and be; be a good girl!
One evening she got a text from an old acquaintance who wanted to discuss a project with her. He contacted to enquire if she was still active as a writer. After receiving the text, she was startled for a moment and replied in haste, “Yes, I am,” which was a lie. She was amazed and disturbed at the same time with this text message. She was amazed because people still remember her as a person with writing skills; and disturbed because she had completely forgotten that she had a special skill. How can she let slide something of that significance, where was she lost, what was she doing all these years, what kept her occupied or what kept her away? What was she busy with that she over looked the desire to be identified. She must have been very busy indeed; yes she was truly very busy. She was busy playing the good girl.
The ambitious girl was lost becoming the good girl, the goodness took over ambition, and the desire to be accepted took over the desire to be known. She was busy living for others, as per others, in sync with others. She has always been the giver, the one with a big heart and enormous patience to adjust with the unfairness of life. She was just giving and not receiving anything in return and what happens when we put the needs of others before ours? We make them our priority and in return all we are left with is a lost identity. They start to take us for granted and it becomes a pattern, it becomes a thankless job.
We make someone our whole world only to realize that we are just a small part of their selfish world. While we were busy serving others there was someone who was starving for our time and attention. It’s our own self; we have forgotten to make time for ourselves. It’s time to gear up, get up and look into the mirror, whose reflection do we get to see? Is it a reflection of someone we were or someone we are?
Such moments of realization have hit us several times in our lives; but what bring a turning point to our story are the decisions we make and the steps we take hereafter.
It is a wake-up call; we take it and change our lives or ignore it and continue to live in denial. Change is scary but if we step out of our comfort zones we can change our stories.
It can bring a ‘turning point’ in our lives, as it did for ‘the good girl’ who I know closely.
Author – Preeti Singh (Homepage)
Her books are available on Amazon.
The piece was first published at Ashvamegh Journal by the title ‘The Lost Writer’ in a slightly altered form. It also appeared in Scars.tv(CC&D Magazine), Brown Girl Magazine, and Randomly Accessed Poetics
Last published at twinenterprises.com