I wish I had coined the phrase since it seems to describe my very existence. I am, it seems, trapped by a sucking, drowning, black-hole of responsibility. There are, I know, people who seem free of such a crippling emotion, because that is what responsibility is, an emotion. A feeling in the pit of your stomach, in the center of your heart that makes one do things we don’t want to do, but we do nonetheless because it is expected, because one has to.
Girls always dream of being Lizzie and holding out for love, for passion, for someone who is going to understand one’s quirks in personality. Girls dream of being Lizzie and being brave and holding out for Mr. Darcy, but I am afraid I would have never been a Lizzie Bennett and that I am destined to be a Fanny Price, my most hated of Austen’s heroines.
I am afraid that my sense of responsibility keeps me from doing what I dream of doing and sending everyone to hell and being utterly selfish and caring only about what I want and what I need and what I expect of life. But I am, no matter how hard I try, going ‘round and ‘round doing what I have to do.
I would’ve married Mr. Collins. I would’ve married a totally unsuitable person to save my family from destitution. I would have had sex and bore him children and endured the attentions of Lady Catherine de Burgh simply because it was expected of me.
There is no rebellion in me, no overwhelming passion, because responsibility shadows, swallows, overwhelms everything else. I am doomed to be responsible. I am doomed to swallow my wants and do what needs to be done. Why do I have to? Why can’t I just ignore everything that needs to be done and simply be? Is it my lot in life to take care of what needs to be taken care of disregarding completely the hungers in my soul that need to be fed?
I wish I was more ambitious. Ambitious enough that only my interest seemed to matter, but my ambitions are simple: Health for those I love, to be loved, a house of my own, a job that I like and occasional travels that show me the world out there. I don’t wish for riches and grandeur, I don’t crave fame and fortune. I work for a multibillionaire and I know that money does not necessarily mean happiness. I can’t help but think that if I wanted it more, wished for it more, ignored others more I could have everything I wanted.
Sometimes I want to run away from everything, expectations, family, friends… and myself. Let’s combine those two and really put together what I want to run away from: Family expectations.
Sometimes I wish I was more like my brother, who has no regard for anyone but himself. No regard but what he wants. Sometimes I wish I could grab my credit card and disappear into oblivion in a small town in the middle of nowhere U.S. and work at some dinner where my name is not my name and I can spend my days doing something little and meaningful and write and get up knowing that I will write some more and do something with my days that does not include disappearing in anonymity in an office, doing nothing worth wile and being invisible.
I know the feeling will disappear and tomorrow I will get up and do what is expected. Dry, cold, reliable, and responsible Melissa, doing what needs to be done, no matter what. But right now I want to be more, do more.
I know it’s silly. I get to the end of this post and I realize how many times I have said in the past, “With privilege comes responsibility” and I am oh so privileged with a big family. I just wish there was someone to share those big responsibility’s with.
They feel so heavy sometimes.