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Sitting behind her desk, Angie looked at her virtual window and thought… (Excuse me? A virtual window, what on earth is that? … ummm… sorry… A couple of years ago, she was given a beautiful framed picture of an open window… The picture is hanging in front of her desk and she sometimes console herself but trying to imagine how life is from that window)…

So she looked at her virtual window and remembered the preface of an amazing book she read about a year ago and she was re-reading again because… she missed it.

We can miss books? Yes, we miss books, like we miss people, like we miss some events in our lives. Sometimes we long to read some books, because they have a special meaning to us and because they trigger some special emotions in our heart. This book in particular changed Angie’s life upside down.

The preface of the book is the following:

“ Thirty –five years ago, I was one of the unhappiest lads in New York. I was selling motor trucks for a living. I didn’t know what made a motor truck run. That wasn’t all: I didn’t want to know. I despised my job. I despised living in a cheap furnished room on West Fifty-sixth Street – a room infested with cockroaches.[…] I despised having to eat in cheap, dirty restaurants that were also probably infested with cockroaches.”

Angie took a deep breath and said to herself: “God!!! That’s almost my life recently. I am not very happy with my job lately. I don’t like my work. I am not going to use the word “despise” but this is how I feel sometimes about my work, and about the tasks I perform. I don’t like my small tiny little flat, I keep it clean as much as I can, but I can’t help to dislike the building I live in. I wish I could do something about it. When I was a young girl none of my dreams would have taken me to where I am now, how did I end up here?”

She looked to her virtual window, stood up, took a walk and continued reading:

“I came home to my lonely room each night with a sick headache— a headache bred and fed by disappointment, worry, bitterness, and rebellion. I was rebelling because the dreams I had nourished back in my college days had turned into nightmares.”

“This is exactly how I am feeling”, Angie repeated to herself. “This is exactly how I am feeling. Some days, it is fine to go to work and some other days I have to fight with myself and drag myself to work. This is not what I want to do. There is nothing exciting about my work anymore. I like the place, but I don’t want to spend any more time behind my desk or around some people in this office… God, please give me the courage to follow my dreams and the strength to stay focused in order to know what I want from this life”.

She took a deep breath and continued reading:

“Was this life? Was this the vital adventure to which I had looked forward so eagerly? Was this all life would ever mean to me—working at a job I despised, living with cockroaches, eating vile food—and with no hope for the future?

If this is it, I guess, I served my mission on earth, and it wouldn’t mean anything to stay for another minute, day, year, or decade. I can go now to another life. Unless I need to repeat and repeat the same thing for a long long time…

The author continued:

“ . . . I longed for leisure to read, and to write the books I had dreamed of writing back in my college days.

I knew I had everything to gain and nothing to lose by giving up the job I despised. I wasn’t interested in making a lot of money, but I was interested in making a lot of living. In short, I had come to the Rubicon—to that moment of decision which faces most young people when they start out in life. So I made my decision— and that decision completely altered my future. It has made the last thirty-five years happy and rewarding beyond my most utopian aspirations.

My decision was this: I would give up the work I loathed; and, since I had spent four years studying in the State Teachers College at Warrensburg, Missouri, preparing to teach, I would make my living teaching adult classes in night schools. Then I would have my days free to read books, prepare lectures, write novels and short stories. I wanted “to live to write and write to live.”

At least he knew what he wanted. She walked across the empty corridors, and the empty stairs leading to the garden, she sat down to one of her favorite benches, looked at the stars and made a wish: “God, if you are really out there or in here or somewhere, if you really exist, just show me the way… Please show me the way to happiness”

Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

(By Zeina Gabriel)

(The paragraphs in italic were taken from the book “How to stop worrying and start living” by Dale Carnegie. You can read the whole book on this link)