Quest for Perfection…


Early on in my teens I made a promise to myself:- I would not have any regrets on my deathbed.

Yeah I know – I was a stupid teenager, but I was also a very idealistic teenager. Extensive reading as well as coming into contact with older people who had many regrets about their misspent youth made me firm in my resolve not to misspend my own.

So… I set out on a journey to be the perfect teenager, the perfect young adult, the perfect sister/daughter/student…

You know what’s coming don’t you?

I was about 13 when I made this resolve. Today I am a very unhappy 28… All the emotions I thought I would avoid on my deathbed, I suffer from all those emotions already – regrets, disappointments, disillusionment…

Where did I go wrong? I didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs… I didn’t even try to experiment.

I believed in being an obedient daughter, in doing everything I could to give my parents comfort and joy, in being the kind of daughter that gave them not a moment’s anxiety or pain…

I tried hard to be a good sister to both my siblings. Where did I go wrong that I have fallen out irrevocably with one and have not much of mutual respect or affection with the other?

I tried hard to be a good human being; I tried to live in such a way as to cause minimum harm to other people and the maximum good.
I never said NO to anyone who asked me for help (even today, when I’ve wised up, it’s a word that refuses to form on my lips though I want it to).

After putting my 100% into whatever I did for others (though being a lazy person, I never took that much effort over my own work), how is it that I earned not respect but contempt in most others’ eyes?

How is it that most of them treated me like a bonded slave and why is it that I went along with it for a long time in most cases, before bailing out?

I am 28 years, six months and 15 days old today – and I have so many regrets about my misspent youth.

The problem is, I don’t have any answers. Where did I go wrong? At 13, I thought I had the solution to a happy and peaceful life. Now I know better – I realise that I don’t know the answers.

I am still looking though – I still believe that there are some principles, some knowledge out there – which if we apply to our own lives will make for a happier and more meaningful life.

That’s all I ever wanted, a meaningful, peaceful life. A life that brought comfort, joy and meaning to other lives, a life that had comfort joy and meaning of its own because of wonderful and sustaining relationships…

Sigh… Reading that back again makes me feel I was too ambitious; When younger, I always believed that I was not ambitious since I did not have any particular aspiration for wealth and fame. How was I to know that what I aspired to was even more ambitious?

Today I am an almost ruined and broken person standing amidst the rubble of a lot of ruined and broken relationships.

Where did I go wrong? I keep asking myself that over and over again!
Should I have been more selfish? Should I have been more sharp tongued and rude? If I had been, would I be happier now?

Life is so very difficult – and I am so very tired. I want out!


12 Responses to “Quest for Perfection…”

  1. You’ve still got me!
    Look back at all the things that are right in your life… Write them down if you must. You’ll see that for all the bad things that happen something positive would have emerged from it.

  2. 2 John

    Funny thing, I’ve been thinking about life and morality for the past few months. It’s come up in almost every drinking session or meet I have with my closest friends. I’ve only come to one conclusion. If you try to live your life for other people (i.e. live in a specific way because it fits their image of your life) because you perceive that’s what they want, then you’ve already failed.

    You’ve got to live for yourself. If your conscience/thoughts tell you to be a good person, be a good person. If it tells you to abandon your parents, abandon your parents. At least this way you’ll be responsible for your actions and you can deal with the consequences. The moment you try to be someone who you are not and you try to live for everyone else, you’re screwed.

    You just can’t please everyone, at least try to be happy with who you are. It’s a really selfish viewpoint, I know. But at least you aren’t living a lie.

  3. wow, this is just like something i wrote during my emo days, years ago.
    well i guess this is something that all self-less people go through. Its only when you finally stop thinking about others and look at yourself you realize you haven’t had the time to or realized you haven’t been able to do things for yourself.

    I’m guessing you’ve done made a lot of people smile in your 28 years, six months and 15days, think about that, every smile is a difference you’ve made in the world(atleast thats how i make myself feel better..hehe)

    and if that doesn’t work, i’m sure having Meg on your side is a achievement ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. 4 Tulie

    @Megs : Yes, I know I have you – and for that I am profoundly grateful ๐Ÿ™‚

    @John : You are right. I just wish I had figured this out earlier without having had to go though such a painful process to learn it, instead.

    Oh well, I keep hearing that ‘experiences’ are valuable. Maybe, in time, when the pain heals, I’ll value the experience – right now I am still raw ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    @purpleboxers : If I HAD made people smile, I’d have been grateful for that at least. What I’ve left behind in most cases is a lot of acrimony – though I am unable to figure out why.

    But yeah, by some grace I do have Meg and one or two others like her on my side – they are the sole reason I still retain some faith in people and general goodness

    Thank You, All of you for the show of instant support – it means a lot to me ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 5 Chavie

    You sound a lot like me… (The “I didnโ€™t drink, smoke, do drugsโ€ฆ I didnโ€™t even try to experiment. […] and I have so many regrets about my misspent youth.” part is especially true for me)

    I dunno man, everyone is different. You might not have achieved much going by someone else’s yardstick, but what you have to have is a yardstick of your own, since you wouldn’t be able to properly measure yourself otherwise… And plenty of people love you, and that’s what really counts at the end of the day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I kind of understand the feeling – having been where you are now. Especially on the โ€œI didnโ€™t drink, smoke, do drugsโ€ฆ I didnโ€™t even try to experiment. […] and I have so many regrets about my misspent youth.โ€ just like Chavie.
    I don’t think its possible to live without ANY regrets whatsoever. No matter what you do, you’re bound to make some mistakes anyway.
    This trying to be the ‘model daughter’ is in my experience – counter productive. Its like we’re trying to fit ourselves into a mold thats just not us. Its also taking the easy way out. See – I figured that if I abide by all the ‘rules’ I would be loved/respected/secure/happy. But thats just chickening out on the life I needed to live. In the beginning its scary and its hard to stand up for what you really want. But I think, in the long run, doing it in your own terms really makes you a winner ๐Ÿ™‚
    So take heart sis, I hope you figure out what YOU want, and then just go ahead with YOUR plan – not someone else’s.

  7. 7 Tulie

    ‘Plenty of people love me’ ????

    Where the HELL did you get that idea? The entire post, in case you missed it is about how PLENTY OF PEOPLE HATE ME!

    Oh well… LOL… It’s OK, I am sorry for being a dramaqueen. In the doldrums at the moment, I’ll get out of it soon enough, don’t worry :/

    And Chavie? You are still quite young. Don’t do anything stupid – I don’t know why but ‘Young’ and ‘Stupid’ always go together ๐Ÿ˜›

    I am not particularly bothered about the drugs and the drinks – I just wish I had been a little young and carefree instead of being so mature and responsible all the time ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 8 Tulie

    Whoops, the above comment is directed at you Chavie. Niroshinie and I seem to have posted our comments at the same time ๐Ÿ˜€

    @Niroshnie : Thank You. Yes, I’ve finally begun to live life on my own terms. It’s just that I’ve spoiled a lot of people around me. They are unable to accept that I’ve grown a backbone now , they still expect me to flex to their every whim as I used to do.

    Oh well, I suppose it’s all my own fault but I still can’t help feeling sorry for myself ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s also a very uphill task to be forceful now after years of playing the goody two shoes who never asserted herself.

    I have to assert myself that much harder now and it’s beginning to take its toll on me :/

  9. @Purpleboxers- “having Meg on your side is an achievement”… ๐Ÿ˜› That comes off as me being not too easy to cotton on to! Hehe
    And Tuls, I think what Chavie meant is that people do love you. We do. I do!
    It might be hard at first but at least try to concentrate on the happy things. And don’t apologise, everyone experiences these bouts of depression. You need them to keep you sane. It’s all part of a fine balance.
    And I’ll be right beside you, to see you through them ๐Ÿ™‚

    So now is a good time as any to start making a change. Start living life for yourself…

  10. 10 Chavie

    I’m sorry, you seem to have misinterpreted my comment… yeah, like Meg said, what I meant was that the people who really matter still love you. And you seem to suggest that most people you’ve known have taken advantage of you (the ‘bonded slave’ thing). If that’s the case, forget them. You don’t need people like that in your life.

    And like Meg said, everyone goes through these phases, have an existential crisis, etc. But you’ve tried to be a good person, and you should be happy about that. Love yourself, and (yeah this is all in Meg’s comment, sorry for ripping you off Megs! ๐Ÿ˜€ ) start living life according to your rules! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 11 Tulie

    Thank You Megs & Chavie – I’ll Try ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. All Sri Lankan Bloggers invited to join the
    one and only Multi lingual

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