A Novel Idea

Unintended Consequences: How your happiness might push another towards despair

Posted on: January 23, 2011

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Have you ever wanted someone else’s life?

Maybe you have coveted something they have.

Are you happy with your own life?

My life is good. My life is tough. My life has purpose.

I will morph that temporary middle statement into ‘My life is comfortable’ or better in the next year.

Here I am in 2011 after nine months of practically zero income, unable to afford a daily coffee, but smiling more easily than when I could buy a round of drinks without a thought.

I’m trading money for time. Time to write the first of many novels that will, I hope, form my life’s work.

I came to the realization today that, unintentionally, I’m making one of the people most special to me unhappy.

Like me, they dream of a creative life. Their talent is writing for film. Instead they work to feed their family and keep the people they employ in work. They can’t just alter life without massive consequences.

They aren’t envious of me. Not jealous. Neither of these words adequately describe the feeling I glimpsed in their eyes today.

They want what I have: time.

But it is not mine to give them.

Worse than that, I know and love their family. Their situation has options, but fewer than I had.

While I pursue creativity and career change, I have made mine and my partner’s financial situation worse. Perhaps I will never regain what I used to earn through writing alone, but I will certainly try.

Could I have made the same decision if I was robbing a child of the best school or even a new bicycle to do so?

Are you happy with your own life?

Do you covet something another person has?

Do you want someone else’s life?

Write well. Write often.

V.

(C) Copyright of the author. 2011.

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