I was once given the task of writing my eulogy. It seems like quite a morbid thing to do, however, I am pretty sure it was supposed to be an exercise in forward thinking. A way to really make you sit down and consider the key things in life that are most important to us as individuals. I cannot remember if it was a teacher or a psychologist who set this task. I don’t suppose it really matters. From memory, I wrote a couple of paragraphs about the places I had travelled, the books I had successfully published and the friends I had made along the way. This was quite promptly scrunched up. In the end, I was left with a single sentence. I was truly seen by just one person. It became clear to me that the thing I wanted most in life was to have one person who could recognise me for who I was and instead of making assumptions about my life and my person, would know me on a truly intimate level. This did not necessarily mean as a lover or partner. I was content just to have one person who could see me for who I really am.
I did not want to have to explain myself to everyone. I don’t like talking that much to be honest. I find talking an extremely over rated thing to do although you can bet that when I have laryngitis I am driven mad with the need to communicate in other ways. Turns out that most people aren’t as good at Charades as they think they are.
We live our lives shrouded in people’s perceptions and interpretations. As humans we are very judgemental beings and seek to label each other in the easiest ways possible. Our laziness ranges from short, tall, fat, thin to ethnicity, social status and the like. How much of this really defines who we are?
For me, I wanted someone who could see past all of that to the person within. Someone I could share a comfortable silence with and look through my eyes into my soul.
Throughout my life, I have had to face my own shortcomings when it comes to shyness. It is not as bad now that I am an adult and tend to be less preoccupied with what everyone thinks of me, however, as a child I wanted to make everyone happy. Being who everyone else wanted me to be was my goal in life and apart from being impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations, it became incredibly draining and lonely. I realised that I could never live up to other people’s standards so I may as well develop standards of my own.
At times, particularly when faced with automatic doors which refused me entry, I would become obsessed with the thought that maybe I was the figment of somebodys imagination. This thought was only quashed by the secondary thought of, wow – that person must have a rather dull imagination. I have heard that there are many people who have the tendency to believe this very thing. Whether it is questions brought about by watching The Matrix, or as I had, thoughts that preceded the movie. It shows that as humans one of the fundamental desires we all have is to have some semblance of control over our own destiny and, perhaps more importantly, to have a life that matters to somebody else.
I realised, as I am sure that many do, that life is made up of moments. Single moments that define us – build us up, tear us down, bring us together or drive us apart. Few get to the finish line and worry about the money they didn’t get to spend. Unless you are incredibly self-absorbed and live in a bubble, it is people who fill your dreams at night and not objects. I always think that it is incredibly sad when I see or read a news story about a body that has been found that has nobody to claim it, or an elderly person who has passed away and it is days, weeks or even months before they are found. Did the deceased live a life devoid of all relationships or are we all just so caught up in living our own little lives that we forget about others?
I know as a person that I am far from perfect. Perfection simply does not exist and if it were to do so, it would probably found to be irritating. I have my own quirks and idiosyncrasies that make me the person that I am. I am sure that I drive quite a few people who know me completely mad. At least a couple have probably wanted to punch me in the face at one time or another and although I am generally told that I am a likeable person, I assume this is the opinion of friends and that there exists plenty that find me a bitch. That being said, when it does come the time to put me in the ground, or throw me in the oven (a decision I am leaving to others since I don’t have any strong feelings regarding what happens to my body when I am no longer in need of it – although I would like my organs to be donated if they are viable), I hope that those listening to my eulogy in that future time will be people who did honestly care about me. I do not want a funeral full of fakes. I also hope, that somewhere in that group of people, exists just one person who truly knew me.