I think I need to stop reducing myself to a victim of circumstance. Yes I get it. I gave it my all. I set my mind to it. I put in my hundred percent, non-withstanding. I didn’t hold back, I just kept giving and giving, kept trying and trying, like a river that never runs dry.
But it did eventually, didn’t it? Somewhere midway, somehow, I realized with a jolt that my river had caved in, dried up, barren and empty. I found myself rooted to the ground, motionless, in a stagnant stasis I imposed upon myself.
And just a few days ago, I relished in it. It’s so easy to blame your unforgiving circumstances, to vent your frustration about your grades hurtling downsouth despite your efforts, to let loose all your pent up disappointment towards the people you least expect to hurt you but hurt you still anyway, to moan and groan at the mundanity and monotony of the daily grind. It’s so damn easy to relish in the thought that hey, it’s not my fault! Life threw shade at me and well, surely that gives me the excuse to reciprocate as given. I mean it does make some sort of sense right? When served up a tantalizing platter of “go screw yourself,” how self-satisfying, how smug it would be for you to serve one right back to the very person or the very entity that screwed you over in the first place, with extra toppings of screw-you’s on the sides of course.
Because humans are so passive aggressive sometimes. It’s like a defense mechanism built into us, an instinctive recoil, an intuitive ” eye for an eye” treatment. It’s like a fine, since you treat me like crap, since you strip me of any hope of a minute’s success, since you keep hurling bullshit after bullshit at my face, despite how much effort I’m putting in, despite how badly I want it to work, I’ll give it back to you as you duly deserve.
When provoked, we tend to lash out, spewing nonsense in every possible direction, then curl up into a corner, desperately convincing ourselves with frilly phrases like “once bitten twice shy” and numb ourselves to the point that we choose to trundle along the safe side of the path, never again straying into the mysterious wilderness of the woods.
We stop trying, stop giving, stop putting ourselves out there. And because we delude ourselves into thinking we’re jaded, that we have been through hell and back, that we KNOW best, we seal ourselves into our own protective bubble and turn our head from a challenge. To not get hurt again. To not have to go through all that pain. To hide, far far away from the shoreline, so we avoid the turbulent tide, so we avoid the plunge.
But honestly, I’m so so tired of stasis, so sick of the heartline on the cardiogram stammering itself into a tight straight line. Because what does this make me? Nothing but a coward who gave up, a timid child who chose to bury herself in her own misery and discontent. So what if the world rains poison on your head? So what if people hurt you? So what if you fall time and time again? Circumstance should never be an excuse to wall yourself up and raise a white flag.
For if you choose passivity, if you choose cold indifference, if you choose to tell yourself okay that’s it I’m not doing this anymore, if you choose to back off, it doesn’t make you all the wiser, all the more mature. Nor does it make you a more tolerant, enduring person, even less does it place you above everyone else. That’s merely glorifying it. What it makes you is someone who doesn’t have the balls (or *insert female reproductive organ* because gender equality) to stand your ground.
Honestly, nobody cares. The world couldn’t be bothered enough to give five shits about you being such a drama queen or a sobbing hot mess.
So stop it. We determine our experience. We determine how fulfilling, and how meaningful our lives turn out to be. It’s a choice we consciously have to make. We need to stop telling ourselves that we’re the broken ones, the victims, the maligned ones who got caught up in the crossfire of life’s epic battle. For we are already IN the battle. And what is a battle if we don’t go down fighting?
To put it plainly, making the active choice to keep fighting your battles, to give unconditionally, to try hard for whatever you set your mind to, is as bad-ass, and as liberating as holding up a middle finger to the universe, like fuck me up all you want as long as I don’t allow myself to be fucked up in turn.
But understand that not all battles can be won. Some battles are worth fighting for, more so than others. Some battles leave you tired and world-weary. Pick your battles. And pick them well.
So to every onslaught of tsunami wave coming my way: Continue knocking me down, continue soaking me, continue leaving me cold, wet and unfulfilled, because instead of biting my lip and helplessly standing there, I’ll be hitting back again and again, throwing my punches again and again.
Who cares if I don’t end up victorious? Your experiences, your actions, the very choices you make, are what moulds you and grows you as a person. It’s what defines you.
To anyone who is as wary as I am, I challenge you, keep pushing your boundaries. After all, what happens is not as important as how you react to what happens. Never restrict yourself. Never settle.
Stay, unabashedly, foolish.