The Manual

For years, she’s searched for The Manual.

Somehow, she’s always thought life on earth came with a perfect guidance on how to live, that lies somewhere, in some random stranger’s life story, or a dusty book nobody has ever heard about.


You see? Every time she discovered a new manual, she would act accordingly.

Dress like this, talk like that, look at it from this perspective, they would say.

And she would gladly follow, thinking this was it, this was the key to living well.

But it was never “it”.

There often come oppositions, other ways of lives that claim to be better than the current manual in her hand.

Pursue riches, get a house, dream of fame, one would say.

The other would nudge her to travel, to be adventurous while another would sing for her to enjoy the simplicity of life, the little drizzling rains hitting her own bedroom window.


One manual would tell her to always be there for her friends while another told her to put her self-love first.

One told her to bear hopes; the other scoffed at her for even attempting to find any meaning in this empty life at all.


You see? For years, she’s flitted from one manual to another, like a confused fruit fly.

Surely, with all these contradicting guides, there must be the ultimate manual that would put these all to shame. Surely, if she talked with enough people, and read enough obscure books, she would find it.

But it surely did not turn out that way. The piled-up manuals she’s gathered one day chocked the air inside her rib cage, muddled her will to live.


And at that moment, during her last gasp for air, she finally realizes there’s no one true manual to rule them all. In fact, different people have different guides, and it’s okay if those contradict.

She realizes she was born manual-less, not so she can copy it from other people, but that she should write her own manual. How? She doesn’t know quite yet, but at least she knows this time, it will be her blood in the ink, her thoughts in the squiggles and her heart in the paragraphs.

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You can hardly mention anything I'm not curious about.

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