The Prose of Everyday Life

Sometimes to give up means not to give up on what we truly are

Sometimes before I go to bed, I braid my hair, so it’s curly the next day. Usually, I don’t achieve what I had desired because, thanks to my dry hair, all that is not carefully styled, results in a messy appearance, and I look as if instead of a hair I have a pile of hay on my head. But I still braid my hair. I’m used to it, and when I do it, my hair annoys me less while I sleep. Of course, I regret my braiding activities the minute I wake up the day after. I look myself in the mirror, let out a sigh of annoyance, put my hair in a ponytail and promise myself; no more braids! I usually break that promise a couple of days later, and the morning after, I’m in front of the mirror doing the same thing all over again.

A triviality. One almost entirely irrelevant aspect of someone’s life.

I don’t know about you, but often with the help of one of these small aspects, I can recognise a repeating pattern.

The way we handle irrelevant things is usually the same way we handle the relevant ones.

Sometimes my habits keep me in one place for a long time. The place I’m not happy with, but where I always find at least one little positive thing and conclude: It’s okay. It’s not that bad. I still have time to devote myself to harassing my existence by doing something that brings me very little joy. I still can’t give up.

When you think about it, from time to time, we are all real experts when it comes to not letting go of things which are not good for us, while those which are good we often leave to chance, or we give up as soon as we hit the first obstacle.

Do you ever ask yourself why? Are we really created only to spend our lives torturing ourselves, making one wrong decision after another, and holding blindly to them only to be able to say: It’s not up to me, I did my best, that is just what life is.


Yes, I’m doing my best to live out of habit, to hold tightly to what I call mine no matter the worth it holds, only to calm my ego. Maybe my bones can carry the burden of my body, but can they hold the weight of my soul? A soul that somehow always finds a way to make it difficult? To collect useless rubbish as if it’s of priceless value, only for the sake of obtaining, for that sense of importance that we feel when we do something, no matter what it is and does it make any sense.

For most of us, giving up is not in our blood and that’s good. Nevertheless, I think we should carefully choose to whom and to what we should give our not giving up attitude.

Today I’m not asking you to be persistent. Today there is no motivational message that says; when you stumble, get up and push even harder. When everything around you is falling apart, be patient because that means you are just a step away from happy days. All this can be true, or not. That magical change or enlightenment we’re waiting for, can’t happen if we persevere for the wrong reasons, with the wrong people, for all the logical excuses that we say to ourselves every day as soon as we open our eyes, and pretend that they are the reason we get up from the bed every morning. 

Today I’m asking you to question yourself. Put aside everything else besides yourself. What is that you really want, what brings you a smile on your face, what makes your heart jump? What is it and why it’s somewhere at the bottom of your list of priorities? Why are you compliant with it while at the same time you persist in everything that doesn’t satisfy you entirely? Why do you give justifications like; This is easier, more straightforward, stakes are low, I won’t hurt anyone like this, it’s more usual this way, this is what is expected of me, I won’t accept defeat no matter what, only weak people give up, and so on…

There will always be people who are hurt by our actions, even when we try with all our forces to please them and make them happy. Think about all those times when you heard or witnessed someone who stepped over their personal needs, did everything in their power to make someone else happy and ended up with a list of all the wrong things they did.

“Your love strangles me!” said unhappy and crying daughter to her mother who subordinated all her life to her needs, having in mind only her happiness.

“Your constant complaint made me hate you and oppose you in absolutely everything you say!” said a husband to a wife who believed that everyone would profit if she changed her man.

Your need to please everyone and to be kind and helpful always, people don’t see as your quality worth of admiration. Instead, it serves them as a doormat at which they leave their rubbish and walk away.

It takes great courage to give up on something. Brutal sincerity towards oneself, ego pushed in the corner and silenced, pride and vanity silenced, habit broken so much that there is no way it can revive and harass you again.

Last night I didn’t braid my hair. I give up, for a start even that little thing is enough. You should give up too on all the things that don’t make you a better and happier person, whether someone else likes it or not, whether it is something that the whole world approves or just a handful of people. As long as we don’t do any harm to anyone with our choices, it is our right, even duty to give up…

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