Her burdens were her own and burdens were for shoulders strong enough to bear them. She thought without surprise, looking down from her height, that her shoulders were strong enough to bear anything now, having borne the worst that could ever happen to her.
Margaret Mitchell. Gone with the Wind. 1936.
Of a sudden, the oft-told family tales to which she had listened since babyhood, listened half-bored, impatient and but partly comprehending, were crystal clear. All had suffered crushing misfortunes and had not been crushed. Malign fate had broken their necks, perhaps, but never their hearts. They had not whined, they had fought. And when they “As God is my witness, I’m going to live through this, and when it’s over, I’m never going to be hungry again. If I have to steal or kill–as God is my witness, I’m never going to be hungry again.”, they died spent but unquenched. Kinsmen who had taken the worst that fate could send and hammered it into the best. It was her fate, her fight, and she must conquer it.
I decided to read Gone with the Wind once again.
I found the book at my grandma’s house ten years ago, two years prior to her death. The first time I read it, I remember thinking how my grandmother resembled so much to Scarlett O’Hara. Both of them were strong and beautiful women. However I was too young to further analyze the similarities.
I made up my mind a few months ago and decided I would read it again. Not an easy task when getting through the first 100 pages is a real test of one’s patience. But I did it and I could still feel all the emotions it made me feel the first time around. Yes, it is a great book, indeed.
So many things happened in such a short time: College, my grandmother’s death, betrayal, getting raped, etc. And yet, Scarlett’s strength helped me get through those days. It might sound stupid, but that’s the way it was. I have always find it funny how humans can find strength in the most absurd things, and yet, here I am.
So, now, ten years later, I read the book again. I read it in a time when my life is infinitely times better than it was back then. And I thoroughly enjoyed it because, in spite of the hardships, the disappointments and the bad decisions, I have come out triumphant. Yes, it was sweet to find out that my burden had not stopped me. But that doesn’t make me happy.
Every time Scarlett focused on a new goal, her life was an ordeal until she had reached said goal. However, soon after attaining it, she would only find out that she was still missing something else to be happy, forever trapped in a vicious circle that only brought her loneliness. And she’s exactly who I am these days.
I have many important decisions ahead. I know the answer to each of them and I am certain that they will make me happy, but for how long? And, more importantly, at what cost?
I’m sure that people (the ones I truly care about) support my decision, but will they be around long after I’ve taken it? Am I willing to sacrifice them, just like Scarlett did, to try and grasp the happiness I’m so desperately looking for?
More importantly, what will I do once I’ve achieved my current goals? Will I be happy then? Or, as I suspect, will I set my eyes on a new goal as soon as I see my current ones through?
What will it take for me to be truly satisfied?
And still, even with all these doubts and fears, I will not give up. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. I promised myself, and that is the one promise I will keep no matter what.
As God is my witness, I’m going to live through this, and when it’s over, I’m never going to be hungry again. If I have to steal or kill–as God is my witness, I’m never going to be hungry again.Margaret Mitchell. Gone with the Wind. 1936.