“I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.” ― John Green
Most of us don’t realize how strong we are. It seems as if we start off as being invincible. Or at least feeling as if we are. And life kind of happens, and we fail, time and time again, and suddenly we grow afraid of failure, oftentimes afraid of success just as much.
The trick is not to hide your pain behind a smile.
But others do seem to ask this of us, right? That we pretend everything is okay, that we act as if there’s nothing to be afraid of in this world. It’s all fun and games.
And some do this. And they pretend they’re brave, but they don’t understand bravery. They pretend that strength is something you carve on your face. That the absence of tears is synonymous with the absence of suffering.
Is it so?
A friend of mine told me a few days ago that I’m brave, even though I don’t appear to be so. And I told her that I’m afraid of dogs, afraid of any insect that is bigger than an ant, afraid of heights, and on and on.
She smiled and said, “But so many of us feel insignificant. So many of us are afraid of the future. So many of us dream of the life we want, but never actually try to create it. So many of us feel that we’re only half of something, that we’re incomplete without someone by our side. And we’re so hungry for something that we don’t even know what it is.”
It’s been twelve years since I first put pen to paper. Since I started writing my first story, which, as any self-respecting procrastinator, I failed to finish. It was the first of many that I failed to finish, or even start, depending on the case.
It might not seem as much, but it’s been a really long road. I honestly can’t remember why I first started writing. Maybe because I thought it would be easy and fun. It’s neither, actually. Okay, maybe sometimes it is, and that’s when you feel like a god among men.
But the rest of the road? Well… there were times when I was afraid, when I’d feel as if I’d never become the writer I had always dreamed of being. There were times when all I wanted was to give up. I felt as if, no matter how hard I tried, the entire universe was conspiring to defeat me.
I’ve spent most of these years on my knees, crawling… barely keeping it all together.
But I learned one valuable lesson. That you must never allow the universe to defeat you. That you must always fight back. That you must never lose hope. That you must always try to turn pain into strength.
And that, ultimately, strength is something you carry within you, something that no one else actually gets to see. And, yes, at times being strong means crawling when others would just give up. Being strong means to keep going even when all you want is to quit.
That’s what courage is all about, that’s what courage has always been about. Perseverance. The ability to feel like a failure, to be so afraid, and yet to do it anyways, because… just because.
Don’t let fear overwhelm you. Don’t let pain take away your hope. Don’t let your dreams drown in tears.
Why do all this?
Because when the end will come you will be proud to say that you have not survived everything. You did much, much better. You have vanquished everything. Life tried to destroy you, but failed. Life tried to defeat you, but you fought back. Each and every time.