Redefining Tough | Teen Ink

Redefining Tough

October 20, 2010
By vivian78 GOLD, San Jose, California
vivian78 GOLD, San Jose, California
10 articles 0 photos 12 comments

I remember ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be tough. I wanted to be strong, the fighter.

I went about it the wrong way.

Here’s a little analogy. There are four different states of matter – solid, plasma, liquid, and gas. Gas and liquid are not very tough because they depend on the container they are placed in. Liquid and gas don’t have their own shape and obviously rely on their environment. To me they represent people pleasers, who prefer to reflect other people’s opinions rather than form their own and hate to be controversial. I used to think solid was the best because solid never changed. Its mass and volume stayed the same, and it would either stay its shape or crumble. I never used to worry about the crumble part too much. After all, if you get a tough solid, like a brick, it’s hard to crumble.

This is where my logic was faulty. No matter how tough they are, bricks still crumble. They don’t crumble a lot, but when they do crumble, it’s not pretty, and they’re almost never how they used to be. One could drop bricks a couple times, and they might break after a couple falls. Please like glass have it even worse. From my observations, they’re usually the ones who look the toughest, act the strongest. They are the most inflexible, and for that reason, they are as delicate as glass. People like glass cling onto tradition and who refuse to change themselves up for fear of admitting their faults.

I believe plasma is the best. Plasma can change shape, but it can remain in that shape as well. Roll it into a ball, and it’ll stay in the shape of a ball and not fall apart. People who are like plasma don’t get hurt as easily. You can push them and pull them and hand them any amount of bad luck, but they always come through unbroken. I want to be like plasma – gentle but resilient. I still want the same thing that I wanted as a little girl – I want to be tough. But now I’ve come to terms with what being truly tough really means.

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