If you ever change your mind…

Ángel Marroquín

We spend our lives obeying the voice of reason: “Study something useful”, “Do not spend more than you earn”, “Choose your friends well”, “That partner is not good for you”, and so on. The sweet murmur of the organization of our lives gently nudges us away from the unexpected breezes of irrationality.

We are so drawn to having an orderly and predictable life that we also expect from others to behave in a way that allows us to stay in our comfortable safe space. We hope to be served on time at the store, we expect rational mindsets when discussing a proposal at work, we hope that everything remains calm while we take the bus and move from one side of the city to the other.

But what would happen if one day we discovered that all that order, that delicate organization of our life is nothing more than a fragile appearance? What would happen if one day we wake up and realise that the life that we have built to make us, and those we love the most, happy, is nothing more than a gigantic glass wall that separates us, isolates us, from our most genuine being?

That is what could happen to a person who suffers from the so-called “midlife crisis” Suddenly, while she is deeply bored in a playground talking about the best types of baby nappies, a question comes up: How did I end up here? What am I doing with my life? The answer is simple and we all know it: We wanted to be here. We discarded risky options and took those that would lead us to this quiet peace that today has mutated into a type of silent white noise. In vain we rebel against that other person who we were in the past and who, after pondering it, chose one thing and not the other.

Meanwhile, in a parallel world, someone changes her mind at the last minute … “Tonight is aficionados’ night at the Harlem Opera and a 16-year-old girl comes out on stage in fear, as she is announced to the public: “The next contestant is a young woman named Ella Fitzgerald … Miss Fitzgerald will dance for us … wait a minute … let’s see … What is it? … a correction, friends … Miss Fitzgerald has changed her mind … She will not dance, but sing…”.

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