The Interview

Perusing previous entries in my journals, past blog posts and loose notes, I realized how much I have changed in the last ten years. In some aspects I hardly recognize the person I had become. It saddened me that I lost almost all of myself in the process, I am just hoping that I managed somehow to keep my core intact which is very important if I wish to regain the real me. Not all of it is negative though. Here and there, there are some positive outcomes of the experience in totality. I learned to be calm, patient and enduring. To have a clear overall view of how the things and myself have evolved, I decided to write a story in a form of an interview between my then self and the person that I am now. Here it is…

I position myself in the front of the mirror, armed with my notebook which is dotted with relevant questions and key words, surrounded with dozens of photographs past and present to guide me with the task, I begun talking to myself…

“How are you feeling today?” my younger version asks my older self.

“Not so good.”

“Can you elaborate in that?”

“Mentally, I‘m exhausted and physically I’m dead so to speak. I feel that I reached my limit and it is dead end.”

“That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think so?”

“You know me, I always tell the truth and nothing but the truth. I don’t dress up my words.”

“Okay, how come you find yourself in this predicament? Was there something happened that put you in this situation? Can you tell me about it?

“Where to begin… I believe it’s a combination of circumstances, wrong decision and fate. Sometimes there are things that are out of our control, and there are those that we created ourselves.”

“I’m not sure I understand you. If you can elaborate further it might help to clear what this is all about. You have to be more specific.”

At this point, I (both my younger and old self) have to stop and think, take steps away from the subject to see the big picture in order to better understand the situation. I went to the kitchen to have a drink of water and when I came back I sat again in front of the mirror and continue what I was doing.

“Where we are?” I asked my old self again.

“I believe you wanted me to be more specific.”

“Okay, I’m ready when you are.”

“Never in my life had I thought that my health would fail me; at least, not at this early age. Never had I considered being so dependent on someone, not in every aspects.”

“I understand that. You are the most independent, strong, stubborn woman I know. Freedom is the most important to you. You even sacrificed your children for it, among so many other things, just to end up in this situation where you are now. I remember your ex- calling you Globe trotter that was hilarious.”

“Yes, it was. Come to think of it, if he is not the way he is we might have survived the marriage instead of me fleeing in that manner. But then again, if I am going that way, I might as well blame my parents marrying me off like that.”

“Do you blame others with what happened to you?”

“No. Not even God. I just accepted things and go on. Not that I had choices. But it never comes to me to question what was happening. I thought it was normal. And that is probably my saving grace. Or otherwise I will be bitter and vindictive if I harbor ill-will towards someone. I’m not even angry to my ex for everything he did to me. I pity him in fact. What a fucked up, unhappy confused person he is.”

“That last bit could very well describe you as well. Correct me if I’m wrong.”

“Yes but in another concept. I never harm other people because of who I am. I suffered in silence by myself.”

“You can’t expect others to be like you.”

“That’s why I don’t hate anyone. I might hate their deeds but no as a person. My problems lie with not understanding why some people refuse to let go. They know what they are doing is wrong, they are aware of their destructive behavior and how it affects others but still they refuse to let go. I cannot fathom that.”

“Some people were born that way. I guess they, themselves are not aware of the impact their actions are causing to the lives of others.”

“Why? Are they blind?”

“There are none so blind than those who refuse to see. But let’s get back to you… any regrets? If you can do it again, what would you change?”

“If I have a chance I will not obey my parents. I will run away, study and will never get married. But I will lose my children in the process. Maybe I didn’t want to have them but now that they are here, I can’t miss them.”

“You love your children dearly?”

“Yes. They are the only positive outcome of my disastrous marriage.”

“Yet you left them. Could you explain that?”

“Then you have to read my articles Lizzy and Not for Thee. You will have your explanation.”

“Will do. You said a moment ago that given a chance you will study… If I understand it correctly you have a couple of degree under your belt. You don’t consider them as achievements.”

“Sorry if I seem unclear with my words. What I mean is: study what I originally wanted.”

“And what is that if I may ask?”

“Yes, you may and I am only too happy to answer them. When I was young I wanted to study fine arts and journalism or mass communication. My father said I have to take a course that is guarantee I will earn money when I’m finished, which have brought me to medical field. But before that he found it a great idea to marry me off to someone who is… let’s say can afford, well-to-do or whatever people call it. And to quote him directly: Going and living abroad are the outmost dream of almost everyone (mind you not mine, I was happy where I was strange it might sounds) here in our country. You have the rare opportunity. Don’t choose your study over it.”

“But you did study, no?”

“After my children were born yes.”

“But not the course you originally wanted.”



“Same reason as before. I knew that I was going to leave the moment my children have grown up already. I have to study something that will guarantee I will have a job right away and there is no age limit attached to it.”

“You can still study now.” For the first time since we sat down to talk, she laughed. It unsettled me. Not the fact that she laughed but the sounds of it. I heard some mockery in that simple gesture. Self-mockery? I don’t know…

“It’s too late for that now. I have no urge anymore to prove myself. And doing so will only serve my vanity if nothing else. I have no use for vanity now. We will end up in one place eventually, kings and pawns alike.”

“So, what is your plan for the future? What motivates you to be still with us?”

“You mean why I am not jumping off the bridge yet or hanging myself up?” I let the questions slide. I thought it was best not to answer them. After a while she continued talking.

“Because I was born catholic. And though I very much doubt the existence of heaven or hell, there is always a chance that they might be true. I suffered enough in this world I don’t want to have the same fate somewhere else.”

“So, how you wish to continue your existence?” she refused to call it life for some reasons.

“By climbing out the pit to begin with and try to lead a__ let’s call it life for easy comprehension__ I personally choose, for me, not for and by the others. Little baby steps one at a time. Let’s see where it will bring me. I know that I’m finally on the right track, hopefully I will manage to stay there.”

“What took you so long? Realizing all of these I mean.”

“Oh, duty among so many other things. In my culture we were brainwashed from babyhood that you have to take care of your family, put them first above yourself. You have to respect and obey your parents no matter what. Look at those girls who prostituting themselves to help their families to attain a better life. And my children of course. I can’t leave them so young. I spawned them wanted or not. They are my responsibility. The least I could do is sacrifice for them. And to be honest, people are great in deceiving themselves, convincing themselves that their lives aren’t that bad after all especially compare to others. If you think it long enough, you will come to believe it after a time. It is easy to fall into a habit. Taking the first crucial plunge is the most difficult to do. After that, you either swim or sink.”

“Where do you go from here, what are you hoping to achieve?”

“Peace of mind. That and contentment. Happiness is far too great to aspire. Besides, happiness is a fleeting thing. It is like the first intoxication of morphine, it doesn’t last very long.”

“Talking out of experience?”

“I am afraid not. Even that bliss is denied to me. I can’t be addictive to anyone or anything. I’m too restless for that. My preferences and tastes shift quickly. After five minutes I’m bored. That is the longest span of my interest. That’s why I never cultivate attachment, physically or emotionally.”

“I believed I come to know what I came here for and achieved what I set out to do. So, I guess our time is up and I thank you for your time. I learned a lot by talking to you.”

I stood up and she nodded looking at me straight in the eyes. I turned around and left the mirror. If I can cry I would. I’m hurting inside but my eyes are dry. Like always…

Writing 201: Long Form Personal Reflection


images: gessa & finifeatures

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