A final word from my short trip to New York. I mentioned that I had the honour of seeing Jhumpa Lahiri speak at the NYPL on west 42nd street near time square. The host and speaker was a man named Paul Holdengraber and he said something that has stuck with me since that evening.
“Every change necessitates a betrayal.”
He was quoting someone else and referring it to the conversation with Jhumpa, but to me those words were everything.
Thinking about the word betrayal; how deep it is, how significant it is within that phrase. Not sacrifice, but betrayal, meaning you mustn’t just remove something from your life as sacrifice suggests, but you must directly oppose that something if you hope to achieve change, or drastic change as I see it.
In the context of the conversation with Jhumpa, the speaker was referring to her leaving New York for Italy and learning the language so intimately that she has recently written her latest book in full Italian.
In her initial move from the city, Jhumpa left her entire library of of English books behind. All of them. She didn’t take any. For me that showed that she not only had to sacrifice “something” to learn the language, but she had to completely abandon and betray the English language in order to attain the level of fluidity with Italian she set out to achieve.
How many of us can honestly say we are willing to be that bold?
How many of us are willing to go against our common way of thinking, of behaving, of seeing things, so we can transform our lives? And believe me when I say transform is the precise word. The sharper the betrayal, the greater the transformation.
Let that sink in for a while. Let that concept really take its course. So many of us want to do great things, want to be seen as great influencers, but are we willing to betray…
I had to take a hard look at myself, as well. I post so much about my passion for writing, for being a novelist. And though I feel like I can certainly answer affirmatively to the former question, in my own mind I’m left to wonder what exactly that betrayal will look like.
Read my debut novella "THOUGHTS OF A FRACTURED SOUL," here.