One time, at the dorm, I was very bored. I had absolutely nothing to do so flipped open my laptop and, since I didn’t have internet connection, I went through my files. I then spotted a folder filled with eBooks that one of my pals gave me which I, regrettably, haven’t even opened. I scrolled down… and down… and down. I couldn’t find anything that seemed interesting to me. Finally, a certain title caught my eye…
“Veronika Decides To Die”
Yup. That was the title of the book.
It caught my attention for its bizarre use of the word “decides”. I didn’t understand how anyone can just decideto die. Some people want to die, other people try to die, and the rest simply die. How does one decide to die? Would it be as simple as deciding what to wear to school? Or as complex as deciding what career path to take? Or is it even a decision that one can make?
I began reading the short tale which was (obviously) about a woman named Veronika who decides to die. She literally decides to die. She popped a few pills, lay on her bedroom floor and awaited her death. Simple as that.
It intrigued me how Paulo Coelho, the author of book, made it seem as though Veronika knew exactly what she was doing. She was fully aware of her “decision” to die and she was very confident that what she was doing was for the best. But the thing that intrigued me the most was that Veronika seemed perfectly happy. She didn’t seem to have any reason to die. As a matter of fact, she stated that she was at her highest point.
Anyway, soon enough, I found out that this was her reason for deciding to die. She was perfectly happy. Everything was going uphill for her, thus, in her mind, her life will go on a downward spiral if she continues living.
That made absolutely no sense to me.
At least, it didn’t make sense while I was reading it… but after I’ve thought about it for a loooong while, I realized she wasn’t crazy after all.
How many of us have, at some point, looked back at the happiest moment in our life and wished that we could go back and live in that moment forever? How many of us have wished to just freeze time when we’re most merry and never press play?
It’s human nature. We all want the best end possible. We want symphonies to finish with a bang, stories to finish with “happily ever after”, dreams to end with smiles.
If we knew what would happen next and that it wouldn’t be gleeful, sometimes we dream of going back in time, back to when we were happiest and just stay there. That was what Veronika was thinking. She knew exactly where her life was going. She knew that the light at the end of the tunnel will turn out to be a moving train and she’s not exactly wrong. It’s true that when you reach the mountain’s peak, there is nowhere to go but down. But unfortunately…
Life is not a mountain.
As Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” We can never really be certain what would happen next. Sometimes when we’re so close to giving up on digging, we find the treasure. Life is as strange and dynamic as an abstract painting. Some people see one thing, others see something else. No two people see exactly the same thing and that’s where the fun starts…
The fun starts when we realize that although we have the will to make certain decisions in our life, God will still have the final say. Just as in the story, Veronika decided to die… but someone found her in time to save her. Life begins when we let of go of the plans we’ve made for ourselves and embrace the life that God has planned for us.
So, dear friends, just as Veronika decided to end her life, I decided to wait and trust that God would bring me a happy ending.