So the other day, I was having lunch with some of my friends and some of their friends. Nice little terrace cafe that we have frequented over the past year and are now comfortable with. I know what I like from the menu as well as the wine list and I am also aware of things to avoid. Everything was going just alright till I casually sighed mid-lunch and said I feel a little dissatisfied with my life. I wasn’t really complaining but we all have days when we feel things could have been different had we made different life choices at different points of time in our lives. It was such a day for me when even the rare, bright sunshine on the outside found it difficult to penetrate through the little cloud of gloom in my head. Feeling comfortable in the company of known and friendly faces, I just happened to think aloud and pat came a reply which, though common, still irritates me somewhere deep inside – “But you have so much going for you! You shouldn’t feel upset at all.”
Yes, indeed! Why should I, the one with the dream job, the money to be able to afford 3 square meals a day, a cab to work on days I am late applying the expensive makeup I buy and putting on the designer clothes I get delivered to my house, one iPhone and one BlackBerry, one MacBook Air and many dozens of shoes, why should I have any worry in the world whatsoever? What right do I have to feel anything less than blessed when there are people dying out of starvation in Somalia, when people would kill to live the life I am living? I am such a drama queen to even think of sighing and being dissatisfied when my parents are still together, when I still have a healthy equation with my siblings, when my boyfriend genuinely loves to spend time with me and surprises me with meaningful gestures more often than not! I went to Uni and blew up money studying poetry when thousands don’t even have the financial means to fund their basic education. And good lord, I live alone in a house that has a garden and I have a pet to go back to! Phew, I am living THE dream!
I understand I have more things than many others but I didn’t just land up in paradise one fine day. I have worked hard to convert favourable and unfavourable circumstances into the things I have now. I too have had my heart broken, I have made do with a basic phone, walked in the rain for ten minutes to reach the nearest tube station. I don’t want to go on about it and be labelled something worse than a drama queen. I just feel this kind of patronising is uncalled for.
If you are in the receiving end of the tut-tut response, stand up and say that despite the blessings, you are entitled to feel exactly the way you want to feel because every individual is unique. Whoever decided people MUST be satisfied with these so-called luxuries?
If you happen to criticise people for having it ‘all’ and yet being unhappy, stop for a moment, step in their shoes and feel. If you can’t, at least don’t judge and decide what should make them happy.