100 Years Of Solitude
For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed and totally loved reading, at first it started like a way to cope with life and avoid loneliness, it then became a passion that has helped me a great deal.
I started reading fiction or non-fiction, literature and prose; I always loved putting myself in the author’s shoes and decipher what he wanted to put across to the reader, I would get lost in those pages for hours and hours (and still do).
Later in life I switched to personal development and business, and success and every now and then I lose myself (again) in a nice fictional book.
One of the books that had a huge impact in my life was 100 years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez aka Gabo.
Before I tell you why I want to give you a bit of background.
My family (most of them, anyway) are of humble means, in fact my generation was the first generation to have had the privilege to have an education, our parents and grandparents didn’t, in fact my great grandmother (who is still alive) didn’t have any education whatsoever.
It is fair to say that education and personal growth weren’t the main priority in their lives, it was all about “survival”, getting a job (didn’t matter what it was!), having a roof over their head (and their children!) and paying the bills (and maybe have the luxury to do some nice things!); I know some of you would even say that that is the case with many people nowadays, and you’d be right!
So, that is the background of 3 generations in my family (we are 5 generations living side by side).
Oh, and before I forget I read this book in 2005 when I was already living in England.
The reason I loved this book is because it beautifully described many (if not most) people’s reality in Latin America.
What is that?
Doing the same things their parents have always done, repeating the same mistakes; in fact, there would be 3 (or more) generations living under the same roof!
In this book Gabriel talks about an imaginary community (Macondo), based on what he knew and had seen in Colombia growing up.
As I was reading the pages of this book it felt as if I was reading my family’s biography and friends families, it felt real and I had seen it with my own eyes.
The family in the book perpetuating that vicious circle and they weren’t even aware of it, it all seemed “normal”.
It was OK to live with your parents and their parents, and getting married and bringing your partner to live in your house and bringing a child to the world and keeping it in the same environment, not broadening its horizons.
I will not spoil the book giving you too much information, it simply is a must read.
So, what I learned from reading this book was that I was brave and courageous when I chose to sever my connection from that vicious circle, I wanted to see the world, I wanted to be “different” and I wanted to do things that no one has ever done in my family.
At first it wasn’t easy because I felt guilty, and now when I look back I know it was one of the best decisions I have ever made because I get to do things I love and I am starting something new.
I am making my own mistakes and learning from them, I am travelling and seeing the world, I am doing things I want to do and not things I am “expected” to do, I call the shots and I live a life powerfully and I love it.
You want to know something?
Many (if not most) of my family are still living in the same vicious circle, that’s what they have always known and otherwise is “odd” and “strange” and totally “alien” to them.
The connections and bonds we have to those lifestyles can be too strong to break sometimes and it may take many generations to break away from them.
Two things come to mind:
Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. And
Some people believe that it takes up to seven generations to break away from a vicious circle.
Was I the “odd” one out? Was my birth the chosen one from a 7th generation and the others weren’t? who knows?
Though, I wanted to share with you about that book and how it almost felt like I was reading my family’s biography.
If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend you do, you might even discover something from your family in there too.
Till next time,