“He understood well enough how a man with a choice between pride and responsibility will almost always choose pride—if responsibility robs him of his manhood.” –Stephen King
Duties and responsibilities, we all have them. Our duties to our self, our family, to our friends and to our community. We all have our duties to uphold, but where does it end? Surely, like all things in life; it must have an end but the question is where? Does it end with our death? Or does it end with the destruction of one’s pride? Lucky for me, I gave myself a choice, a choice between the utter destruction of my pride and the fulfillment of a duty that was destroying the very essence of my self.
I remember well enough that moment in life where I choose my pride over my duty. She was leaving; she found someone else, someone better and there’s nothing I can do about it. Not our time together nor our daughter. I did my best despite my shortcoming, I provided for her, shrunk myself to fit into her insecurities. She was self-destructive and infectious, and I kept on waiting. I kept on waiting for things to get better, I kept on waiting until there is only silence. No more replies to her harassing text or emails, no more answers to her obnoxious phone calls, no more small talks, no more smiles, just silence; deafening silence.
I finally let go of the chains, finally, I cut the noose around my neck. I opened my eyes to the things that were blinding me. She was her own person, she was never mine. I stopped waiting and for the first time in my life; after many years, I let the light shine through me.
Letting go was never easy, at least for me. I cling to the last thread of hope, tend to whatever that grows in my stony heart. But I was never intended to shrink, to be small, to fit into someone else’s hand. I am meant to grow wide and grow deep in whatever way I saw fit and give my gifts the best I could, to have meaning in an otherwise ambiguous existence, and fulfill my duties whatever it may be. To be strong enough to endure and thrive in life; to dare follow a dream.
I began seeking clarity in life; to figure out my values, fears, and purpose, and work towards those. To know where my real edge is, and lean just beyond it. To hold on to my deepest realization and lead a life free from the promises made by others.
Getting in touch with my manhood was one of the most profound things I did in my life. Following my own virtues, and setting up my own standards have been a life-changing experience. Everything after the point she walked away from us, up to this point in life has been the solemn whispers of my inner self.
To be honest, I always believe that we are what we do. Our responsibilities define us, it gives us purpose and dictates the paths we take in life. But we must draw the line somewhere, and try not to get lost in our duties. We must perform our duties in line with our virtues, that the two must work hand in hand to achieve our goals. And with that, in my humble opinion is a great way to live.
(I would like to thank Leslie @ https://ofblacksandblues.wordpress.com for giving me this wonderful title from one of our late night talks, I hope to see you soon.)