“You cannot live your life to please others. The choice must be yours because when you step out to face that creature, you will step out alone.” ~ White Queen Mirana
The film version of the storybook “Alice in Wonderland” arrived at my doorstep last week. It is a beautiful book, deep purple cover bounded in a black spine, with a picture of Alice in the front, staring into the gates of Wonderland.
I have always loved the story since I first read it as a kid, because it has always assured me that there is no need for logic in every occasion. This film version of the story continues with Alice returning to Wonderland to find out who she really is, not as a child, but as a young woman.
The first part of the story that reminded me of myself is the part where Alice said “I was wondering what it would be like to fly”. It is the exact same thing that I used to always think about until a year ago when my life was engulfed by work and money and nothing else. I’ve stopped thinking about what other people deemed ridiculous and a waste of time, and instead tried my best to fit into this world which seems so impossible itself.
Through my job (which my father dubbed “not a ‘real’ job”) I witnessed how the rich and famous spend all their money just to keep the fame going, and I see them struggle with the uglier side of their lives – the insecurities with their physical appearances, the lack of true love, honesty, trust, and the absence unconditional friendship. My mother could not understand why I would leave a man who is exceptionally wealthy; I would no longer have financial worries if I marry him. And this happened to the Alice in the story as well.
I came across the opening quote towards the end of the book. I have lived most of my life to please others, especially those who are older than me. I felt that my mother is trying to live through me; making me live the life she never had the chance to enjoy: being educated musically, being a piano teacher, being a girl who studied abroad, to marry a man that is gentle and extremely wealthy. Those are the lovely things to bless your daughter with, and I’m eternally grateful that she has been such a wonderful mother. But when it came to the wedding part, I ran away from it; I did not want to marry a man just for financial securities. My mother yelled and cried about it, saying that I’m such a fool, but what I want from a marriage is not wealth; I would rather choose a poorer person and face all the insecurities in the world with him, knowing that I have no need to fear with him protecting me. I want a real man, not a rich boy.
I suppose it’s time I dictate my own life. For 10 years I have forced myself to leave the person I truly love in favour of a person that my family approves of. This has now ended with broken hearts and angry tears. From now on, it’s time to make it up for all the hurt that I’ve caused for not listening to my heart.
Maybe it’s truly stupid, maybe I’m really mad and foolish, but this is what I want for the rest of my life, along with all the difficulties and fear that I’m going to face.