Copyright© 2015 by Allan Kindred
The following is a story about a man who once had such high hopes for the success of his life. As a boy he had dreams of glory and love, duty and meaning, freedom and temperance. Moreover, the last thing he wanted to become was, in part or in whole, the very thing he felt his destiny was meant to fight.
It was easy to see at an early age that he was born to be a militant. He played a little rougher than the other children. He played at being a soldier and war. He hung around with the older kids and adults, and he had an eerie true sense of honor and duty. He didn't always do the right thing, but he knew when he did the wrong thing.
His clear and sharp mind allowed for him to truly learn from his mistakes, but ultimately it also allowed for regret, embarrassment and shame to crush his soul after he had chosen a life that was less honorable than he would have hoped for. The cold hard facts are a life less honorable than he had always dreamt of as a child.
The time of separation from his childhood dreams to the reality of what life lay out before him begun at the age of fourteen. It was at that time he got a disease that killed well over half the people that contracted it. Being told that he was probably going to die within a year had the affect of combining a little crazy into his militancy. If you are confronted with the prospect of dying, the best way of surviving is screaming out loud to the gods, "Bring it on."
As every person knows from their own experiences, being a teenager is hard enough without outside forces sending contradictory signals. A boy of now fifteen years old, coming out of a year of suffering and pain with the idea that the gods wanted him to survive to fulfill his destiny, only later, at the age of seventeen, to find out that even though he survived a horrible thing, it disabled him in such a way that officially the life he wanted to be a part of would never accept him. The contradictory actions and reactions angered him more than he ever thought possible.
An anger that would consume and blind him for ten years, until finally, when he did start seeing clearly again, he had done things you just can't take back. He had sought comfort in chaos. When his true self started reasserting itself, it brought to life a trail of guilt and shame, of embarrassment and disbelief.
Even though he has friends and family that still love him and see the good in him, the next ten years are spent in a whirlwind of self-pity and self-hatred. He has moments when he meets friends and strangers alike that he had long ago wronged, and it isn't the thought of violence from them that unsettles him, although he certainly has retribution coming in a couple of circumstances, it is the feeling of looking them in the eyes and knowing you did something so stupid and unforgivable - what could you possibly say to them.
Even when it is dark outside you force yourself to get up and go through the motions of everyday living. It is the same when it is dark inside. All creatures that are born for the light will search out things and ways to bring that very light back into their lives. No matter how long it has been absent. In fact, the longer it has been absent the harder that part of a good person's being fights to reassert itself.
This is where this story truly picks up. When you finally get to the point of balancing on the edge of a knife. Where on one hand you did some truly horrible things in your past, and on the other hand you have worked hard at balancing the scales of justice by being kind and helpful to other people. Where even the circumstances have presented themselves that most of the people you have wronged in the past have forgiven you, but you will not forgive yourself.
No matter the successes and failures that combine to make us who we are, we still want to be the hopes and dreams of who we first were. When a person gets to the point of realization that no matter what you do today, it will never change what you have already done. Where those oppressive and dark thoughts become so annoying and hindrances to what you believe you can still become, you decide that it would be better to fail and even die, rather than not to try something, anything, at all.
When the weight of the world that has been pushing down on you for so long and hard feels less intrusive, when you finally start pushing back. When the decision to stay away from people and rot in your own misery so you won't hurt any more people is over-ridden by the knowledge that you will never find your true destiny while hiding from it.
When at long last you are more afraid to stay and do nothing than you are to go out into the world and maybe meet your death, or even worse, your past.