When I was a child, a great man came to me and said that I had no reason to worry, no reason to gather my strength. “The world is simple, child, because I will make it simple,” he said. “So lay down your fists; I will fight for you.”

I thought I was blessed. I thought that I had it so easy, that nobody else in this world knew fortune quite like mine. I thought that all I had to do was stroll through life without a care, and everything would fall into place.

Then I grew up, and this great man turned out to be nothing more than smoke and ash. Suddenly, I needed to stand on my own two feet, but they were weak from a lifetime of disuse, and my legs gave out beneath me. I fell, and I fell hard, fast, deep into an endless, black abyss that took me in greedily. It swallowed me whole and promised that I could find within it a new home. “The world is cruel and difficult, child, and you are too stupid and too weak to navigate it,” the abyss said. “So lay down your fists; you can’t fight anyway.”

Yet, as easy as it was to fall forever, it hurt. I wanted to give into it because doing so meant that I didn’t have to fight, but at the same time, I couldn’t breathe. It stifled me, shrunk me down, made me small and meaningless when I had never wanted to be. All my life, I had wanted to be extraordinary, just like the great man had once told me I would be if I just trusted him. If I just let him fight for me.

And look how that turned out.

He couldn’t help me. Nobody could, really. This wasn’t the world that I thought it was when I was blessed – nobody was going to walk up to me and ask me if I needed a champion to fight my battles. Some might provide me with weapons, but at the end of the day, they were all too busy with battles of their own, and if I wanted to win mine, then I needed to get strong. I needed to pull myself out of this abyss and fight.

So that’s what I did. That’s what I’m doing. That’s what I’ll always do, so long as my blood remains hot, because there will never be any escape from the fight or even, really, from the climb out of the abyss. It is endless and it is difficult but it is all that I can do. I can’t give up. I can’t give in.

One way or another, I will make myself extraordinary.


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