Chasing My Life Away

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
(Writing exercise)

A previously ambitious city-worker contemplates her life and the decision to abandon the modern rat race.

Less than 500 words, this piece aims to capture the rumination taking place in a single moment in time. This story revolves around choices and regret.

Submitted: April 08, 2017

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Submitted: April 08, 2017



A white, gilded balcony; a woman in a sleeveless dress. Perched on a chair, soaking in the sun, she closed her eyes and mentally drank in the warmth. With a hand tucked underneath her chin bearing the weight of her glossy head, she considered her life choices.

A deep sigh.

Always wondering if the grass is greener on the other side, she was a half-empty cup type of person. Now in her thirties, she was alone. She felt directionless. Purposeless.

All her life, she had made plans. She used to be ambitious and confident in herself and her abilities. She wanted to obtain a high-flying job, have cocktails at lunchtime in a big city, date arrogant yet well-dressed, yuppy men, and have a beautiful quayside apartment.

Except that life didn’t go as planned.

As she entered her twenties she realised that life decisions cannot be made based on logical choices alone. There are constant twists and turns that take even the best of us off-course. Life is an adventure to be enjoyed, not a narrow path to be followed. Or so she was told...

This was a lesson she was still struggling to learn.  

She opened her eyes and inhaled deeply. Cars honked in the distance. Loud voices jabbered ferociously nearby. Cutlery clinkered and clankered against plates. The corners of her lips curled into the smallest of smiles.

Here she was, highly educated; having experienced the apparently superiority of a fabulous city career, her only though was that enough was enough.

The push and pull of modern life, the pressures and stresses of work-related obligations, the constant connectivity, the hierarchal and artificial deference to others; she refused to accept that life.

Against her and everyone else’s seemingly better judgement, she decided to quit the modern rat race and swiftly moved to a small, rural town at the edge of French society.

Admittedly she struggled to support herself for the first six months. With rapidly depleting savings and the difficulty of a language barrier, she initially regretted her choice to throw her professional career away. Even now, as she basked in the glow of the sun, whenever ruminations turn to her past (or to her future for that matter), tinges of longing and regret permeate her mind.

On a daily basis she reminds herself that even if she is not happier per se, she feels more content. Her life ticks along at a slower pace, allowing her to preciously enjoy the small moments in life which were previously ignored.

Moments such as watching a gaggle of children laugh and screech at each other, or the appreciation of the beauty of sunlight as it streams through treetops, or the smell of freshly baked pastries from the local patisserie energises her with small bursts of tranquillity. 

Worries over a lack of pension, a permanent home or a flashy career all dissipates away in those moments. A job in waitressing may not be glamorous or well-paid, but at least she was she was content. 

And that, for now, was enough. 

© Copyright 2018 Z. Ute. All rights reserved.

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