When I was young, there was a phrase I would repeat all the time, that became a part of me as if it were carved in stone: “those who put forth effort will always get what they deserve.” But this world has taught me that those who put forth effort can hit a wall, and the impact can break their bones.
As a child, you constantly dream about being older, about growing up so you can have more of a voice in the world and do big things. Because you thought you were going to make a difference. And back then, it wasn’t a display of narcissism, but a belief that grew from an innocence that only children can understand.
It’s easy to be happy when things are going well, when tranquility is all around you, tranquility that can only be seen by the eyes of a naive child in a world full of people who pretend to live a life like you see in the movies. When it’s frowned upon to complain and be human. When the tyranny of happiness has flooded your life.
But you grow up
But you grow up, and nothing is what it once was. What you used to think has turned into an absurd belief in an unjust world. An irrational idea that dominated your life, and is now a rope tied tightly around your chest that won’t let you breathe.
You grow up, and now you don’t even know who you are, because possibilities have become impossibilities. Because what you dreamed as a child seems far away, no longer within your reach. You grow up and you see that effort involves suffering that often isn’t rewarded.
You grow up and you get hurt, admonishing yourself for things you don’t even understand, but that hurt you in the deepest parts of your soul. Because sometimes the words we say to ourselves are silent screams that chain us to the guilt we feel over having lost our innocence.
You grow up and you discover that magic doesn’t exist, that reason is trying to dominate in a world where irrationality feeds the ego of those who have the poisonous gift of an easy life, who have never had to make an effort for anything.
And then you feel like a disappointment to yourself and your loved ones. You feel like you were naive in the past and you’ve given up in the present, letting yourself get carried away by the rope that tied you to a world which, as a child, seemed so perfect to you.
But you decide not to stop dreaming
But you decide not to stop dreaming. You decide not to look for blame in the past, and to accept your own responsibility for the future. You decide that when you’re blinded by the light of injustice, you probably won’t find the path that will lead you to shelter while you’re looking for your place in the world.
You decide to rise up like a phoenix, resurface from the ashes, and fly with your head held high above the ocean of indecision that you were submerged in when you lost your innocence, when you stopped being a child who read stories to instead become the protagonist of your own story.
You decide to take the wheel of your ship even though you’re going against the current. Even though the waves created by other people splash you with reproaches that reflect their own frustrations. Because you’ve learned that you’re invincible if you really fight for what you want.
And even though the clock is still out there somewhere, ticking against you because you haven’t yet found your place in the world, you know that everything worthwhile in this life is difficult to find, and much more difficult to obtain.
And now you know how to answer an important question: Is life shitty? Yes, but you’ve already learned that, and now you have an advantage. The advantage of those who fight, dream, and persevere, who don’t give up, who take each uncertain step forward with passion, who keep going even though they’re afraid. Because, well, that’s life.