I wrote this because I don’t like the idea that you are powerless against your circumstances because the only way your circumstances can change is if you take action. Other people can open doors for you but you have to step through them. It’s up to you to take control of yourself.
If there’s one thing in the universe that can simultaneously make life harder and easier it’s this thought:
You are alone.
Not always, and not in the way that those ugly thoughts that creep into your head when you’re staring at your ceiling at 2 am tell you.
But, you certainly are in some ways.
You’re alone when you most need it sometimes. When the world’s gotten too much and you need a break, so you put on your headphones and play a familiar melody that takes you away from it all. Those are the best times to be alone.
But also when you crave everything besides isolation, even if you are physically surrounded by others.
You’re alone in the world when you’re in a crowded room, because of the people there, you are the only constant in your life.
I don’t say that to be pessimistic, I promise. I just mean that, when you think about it, your own existence is truly the only presence you can ever count on to never leave.
As the north-men said, deyr fé, deyja frændr, cattle die, kinsmen die.
Of course, that poem goes on to say that you yourself will die and the only thing left behind is the tale of the dead man’s deeds, but that doesn’t help me prove my point.
I’m not telling you to give up on your friends and live as a hermit in solitude, unless you so wish to do that, I simply believe it is important to hear that sometimes you truly are alone. Our friends love us, or they should, as do are our parents, and probably our pets, but you can’t see the future. Circumstance may rip away the one you love most.
But again, this is not the thought I mean to dwell on.
I mean to tell you, that in my personal and humble opinion, we can never count on others to fix the wounds festering inside ourselves.
Sure, they may concoct a salve, or a bandage, they may stitch it up and stay with you until it heals but, it’s our own bodies that provide the cells that will multiply and eventually replace the deadened tissue. No one can give you that.
Of course, if you need help then ask for it. A broken ankle doesn’t get better if you keep walking on it, nor does a smashed hand if you continue using it.
But, if a person is not experiencing the hurricane inside of you for themselves, if they can’t feel the storm shaking your bones, then they can only help so much.
I say this because it’s important to recognize that while a friend may throw you a sword to keep the monsters at bay, you must find the way to use it. A seasoned war veteran can teach you, but they are not you. Your body is not theirs, your muscles won’t configure the same way. You are given the sword, and can be taught how you’re supposed to use it, but- if you find you need to slash instead of jab even if you were repeatedly told to jab because to slash will give you better control of the fight, then you slash.
The plain and simple fact is that only you can figure out how to save yourself. There may be people throwing you pieces of the puzzle, but you have to figure out how they fit together. There’s no universal guide on how to win a war, despite what Sun Tzu tells you, because for each person the battles are different, and each person is fighting for their own reason, and it may not reflect yours, so what they tell you might be a start but it won’t get you to the end.
You have to do that.
You are only one who can do that.
Because, my dear, you are alone. Even when surrounded by the best soldiers and strategists the world can offer, you are alone.