She stared at her screen, lips pouted, and arms crossed over her chest with a feeling of defeat after reading the winning short story of the week. Frustrated, not because she didn’t win, but by a story so well-written it made her twinge, by an author probably ten or fifteen years younger than her.
Her day was filled with calls and messages, but between those, she still had the time to dwell on this disappointment. She wanted to throw tantrums but remembered she’s already thirty-five years old, too old to do that. No one on the island would give a candy to a crying thirty-five-year-old girl.
A solution to stop her continuous disappointment would also, to stop writing. However, she thought that if she stops now, the more she won’t improve. She already regrets that she didn’t start writing stories when she was younger, and she doesn’t want to have any more regrets. She might have been like Suzanne Collins or JK Rowling by now if she spent more hours writing than sleeping, but that of course was an exaggeration since she is a self-proclaimed writer, she might as well invent her own world where, like the paradoxical parallel universe, she can have a different version of herself.
She watched some random tips on writing, and the speaker said, there’s never enough time for writers.
Indeed, she thought. Ideas agitated her mind in the wee hours of the morning, and although she wanted to write her head off, she physically couldn’t anymore.
But she still found time to play her guitar, on a day when her mind was more exhausted than her body. She had repetitively sung a single song for hours, an ancient one but beautiful and as timeless as a Queen of Egypt. On stressful days, she can’t confide with anyone, so she turns to music. Like a doctor, it offers a therapy, that is to vent out her frustrations, and she then relentlessly releases them through families of C, G, F, and A minor, regardless if her tune is correct or not.
A colleague joined her daily swim, and her mind cooked up a swimming competition. One that only she knew. She was out of breath after trying to keep up with his pace and dropped her competitiveness to save up her energy for the next five hundred meters. She realized she couldn’t rival a person born with one foot on the sea.
She stepped out at twilight and saw the fiercely burning sky set behind silhouettes of tall palm trees, a scene she had not seen for quite a while, and noticed she didn’t have her phone with her when she wanted to take a photo. It’s not every day she gets to see this spectacle but she didn’t run to fetch her phone only to find a dark ending once she comes back. She let it be.
There are lots of small battles every day that she can’t win over but that doesn’t mean she already lost to life.
She keeps living for all the losses and wins.
Featured image by Debbie Hudson via Unsplash