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I want my life back!

Do you sometimes feel like your life is not your own? That you are living it more for others than yourself? I am not talking about the philanthropic sort of living. In our everyday life, we make so many compromises just to maintain the complex web of social relations we are caught in. Maintaining harmony and balance among our relations with colleagues, friends and family takes up more of our 'mind space' than we really want to give. You have to remember one's birthday, console the other at some misfortune, and help out yet another person. You have to be careful not to hurt the sensibilities of people, and adapt to their behaviour all the time.

It just makes me think – what is my identity? I am being defined by my relationships with other people, but who am I? Obviously, I have a right to live life on my own terms, but very often these ‘terms’ end up being society’s diktats. Every decision you make compulsively involves a lot of people. For example, if I pick up my bag right now and say I am going away for a break, I can’t do it. I have responsibilities at work, I have loads of things to be done at home, and I can’t miss my friend’s wedding tonight. So basically, the independent spirit is just a myth because social strings bind us so strongly, that sometimes even taking time out for your self is a problem. Of course, I am not speaking for everybody. I am a 24-year old Indian professional writer living with my parents in India. I have the freedom to choose, but with the unwritten rules (fine print, you can say) that whatever I choose to do must conform to what is expected of me by social norms.

I know there is no undoing these strings for the rest of my life. I know I must continue to live more for others than myself, and if I am trying to find happiness – I know I must look for it within me.
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