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A simple question
“Who’s to stop us from making it in this life? We’re put here for a specific reason right? So why do others choose to stop us from making our own fate? We’re the strong ones, not those who go out and smoke, drink and do drugs. Of course there will be those who are stronger than us, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not strong. True strength doesn’t come with how much power you have. It comes with what you do with that power. Whether you are a president or someone working at a gas station for minimum wage and barely surviving, you can be strong.”
I sat there chewing on the eraser tip of the pencil. The bellwork was a simple one, and yet, it seemed to have a stronger question behind it: What do you think strength is? Simple right? I shook my head and let my mind wander to what happened in the past few years. I used to be this shy kid who wouldn’t do sports or any other extracurricular activities. I always just do my school work early and then read.
“Pencils down, everyone,” the teacher called. There were sighs from some of the people in the back. “Everyone pass up your papers.”
I passed mine up and got a tap on my shoulder from the guy next to me, saying, “Hey, did you hear about the free write quiz?” I shook my head and the guy hushed up because our teacher was about to speak.
“Alright everyone, today’s the day. I’m going to give you a topic and I want you to respond in the best way you can. Your grade will depend on your quality of your work, not your quantity. If you have good work, then it will be long enough.” He clicked his remote putting up a question the interwrite board. One simple question: What do you think of life? God, it’s always the simple ones that make me think deeply.
In my past years, I’d have to say life sucked. I fell in love twice with girls who cheated on me and dumped me. One girl, she made me feel invincible. I fought tooth and nail for her heart. She was the first one I fell in love with, and to this day I never stopped loving her. The other took care of me. See after my previous love left me, I spiraled out of control and fell into a deep pit of depression that not even the pills could help. It seemed my only salvation was the edge of the knife. But just when I was about to end it all, she came in and saved my life. This new girl touched my heart and revived me, made me feel new things. I used to get into all sorts of trouble sneaking out at night to go see her. But it was worth it… until she eventually ended it like my last relationship.
But it wasn’t all bad. I got friends out of it. And what was that great quote? Love is war.
My pencil tapped the page, trying to think. Not to mention I also participated in my life for once. My mother’s always been yelling at me to do this, do that. Well I didn’t want to do this or that. Until I took up a knack for theatre. Come to think of it, I’ve always been good at acting. I used to play these games with my little brother where we’d play the roles of different characters. And nowadays I’m applying for acting colleges.
“Excuse me, but you have only a few minutes left of class to do this.” The teacher was standing next to me as I thought.
“Sorry sir, I’ll turn it in tomorrow.” He accepted this response and class, school continued. I lay there on my bed, awake and having trouble sleeping because of how deep this question was. How do I feel about life? So far it’s been kind and unkind to me. But I don’t know how I feel. Do I have a storm raging inside of me, blowing all of the ships out of the water and destroying everything it comes into contact with?
Do I have a flame inside that cannot be put out, no matter how much I try to? A flame that burns brightly as it devours everything in sight?
That’s when it hit me. I don’t have a storm raging inside. The storm is on the outside, I am the eye. I am the flame that burns with a bright passion. I got out of bed and turned on my computer, booting up word.
A few weeks later and the teacher handed back our papers.
“How do I feel about life? Well, to be honest, I’m pretty bored with it. I’ve got everything I need; a home, food, clothing, a family that may be tough on me, but they overall love me. I’ve got friends, some of them need help, and some of them don’t. Some of them do help, and some of them don’t. I’m not sick with any disease, and yet, it’d be an adventure if I was. I envy those who play sports with their friends, going on adventures every day. I feel bad for people with diseases, but I also envy them. To be able to be released from mortality, and look upon the gates of immortality isn’t something to be taken lightly. Life is what we make of it. It’s not good, nor is it bad. There’s no such thing as a good life, or a bad one. Life is simply something we need. But it’s too short in supply, that we mostly take it for granted. Spend it, bullying others, smoking our lives away, or trying to push those feelings down. Well here’s a new message: let it all explode. This is your life. Nobody commands it. Love who you want to love. Feel what you want to feel. Be who you want to be. But instead of raising your fist, instead of quenching your light, take a look at everyone and everything. A simple solution is more boring than a simple question.”