Rather, what is any person, really? A name, a presence, a sum of his or her belongings, a list of his or her achievements, the feeling that arises in the hearts of our loved ones when they think of us?
What defines us? Some of these? All of these?
So many questions, so little time. The average life span of a human being in today's fast paced life is 50- 60 years. I am now 25 years old and theoretically, half of my lifetime has passed by.. And yet, I feel like I've just gotten here and need more time to find my bearings. Some of the earliest memories of my life, formed when I was maybe three years old, are still crystal clear in my mind. The intervening 22 years seem to be a blur of school, home work and vacations spent playing with cousins.
Like every human being who tries retrospective introspection once in a while, I too have a few regrets, some triumphs, a few disappointments and some satisfaction. All that I have earned in these few, short years of my life are the love of a few people, a lot of books, some degrees and a few certificates. I haven't even had the opportunity to do something for the people who love me.
What would happen if I were to disappear off the face of Earth tonight? Would anyone miss me? For a few days.. Sure, but then my face and my voice will slowly fade from their memories. Maybe some particularly funny, interesting, mean or unusual things I said or did will linger longer until those too are pushed to some corner of the mind that is seldom visited. All of my things will be put away or given away.. initially because it would be too painful to have them around and later, because it is practical to.
When my belongings, thoughts and memories are all gone, what will remain of me? What will I then be?
So, what am I? I am someone who loves and wants to be loved. Someone who does not want to be forgotten. Someone who wants to break free of her shackles yet is afraid to, since she has never known what that feels like. I am someone who wishes at the deepest hour of the night that she didn't exist or could gather the courage to terminate her existence so that her problems too would cease to exist. But, I am also someone who then remembers all that can still be done to overcome those problems and goes to sleep with that glimmer of hope in her heart. I am someone who can write frivolous posts about shoes and clothes and yet attempt to find the meaning of life in the next post. I am the pessimist's worst nightmare and the eternal optimist.
I am a mass of contradictions.