Thursday, August 19, 2010

Transcending Tragedy

Sometimes, things are simply unfair. As the saying goes, no one ever said life would be fair. Sometimes this works in our favor, and sometimes it does not. Regardless, our world is out of balance. The idealist is disappointed at all times, as his experiences are never a thing corresponding to reality. An ideal is at best a hope for tomorrow, a thing that is desirable for the future.

Life is tragic, and sometimes in the smallest ways. It is tragic when a person is misunderstood to the point of being written off by many that he used to call friend. It is tragic when a person loses who they are in another person, as if that person is in some way superior to them because of what their misplaced admiration tells them. It is tragic when people sacrifice their own personalities, their own uniqueness, to conform to a system out of fear of reprisal. It is tragic when people are lead solely by their emotions and desires, and forget what their head tells them out of some twisted sense of spirituality.

I could go on, but that will more than suffice. I've experienced my share of small tragedy, and I've even experienced the more obvious forms: death of loved ones, people driven nearly to suicide by the lack of caring of others and the total collapse of things held so dear to them. I've even caused my share of tragedy, large and small, and my favorite victim has been myself, a tragedy in itself.

It's all made me very mad. I hate how unfair life is, I hate how petty and ignorant people can willingly be, and how entirely unfair situations end up being because people can not see beyond their selfishness. I can not stand the small tragedies that I and many others are asked to "just deal with" every day for the convenience of others. I hate seeing things I love being used to justify appalling abuses of people.

Being mad has done nothing but make me bitter, and my bitterness has done nothing to change any of the situations or things I can't stand. On the contrary, it has spiraled them further out of my control, whether through others' deliberate manipulation, through a simple lack of desire to engage someone so angry, or the distance I place between myself and others because I have become convinced at times that people are all going to fail me.

But there is a better way, and one does not have to become an idealistic fool to take it. One can only control himself and his own responses to their life. We do not have to respond how our emotions tell us to. We do not have to allow our emotions to make us miserable just because we think, for some reason, that that makes us noble or right. On the contrary, to be so controlled by chemical reactions in the brain is to discard part of what makes us human: our mind.

My mind has come into conflict with much of what I have been told to accept for 24 years lately. I am on the verge of many changes, and leaving many things behind. I don't even know where this will leave me when it comes to things such as the church, friends I've known for years, my family, my alma mater, and life in general as I've known it for the past almost 10 years. It's exciting and necessary change, but terrifying nonetheless, as change often is.

The change of scenery, the newness of routine and the ability to support myself are all parts of this change, but at the core of it is a new refusal to allow myself to be an entirely emotional being any longer.

I've spent a lot of time reacting and not a lot of time thinking when it comes to a lot of things, and that creates problems, no matter who you are. Sentimentality is one thing, but I refuse to allow another person to control me again through emotional manipulation, as I am so prone to do.

When a person feels deeply, they feel the tragic things in their soul. I make no apologies for being disturbed, for criticizing, for lack of reverence that I hope leads toward change in myself and the things I love. However, I will embrace this change, I will transcend tragedy and find hope again.

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