(I originally wrote the following in 2006, and was one of the most popular posts on my old blog. I figured that, for my first “real” post on this new blog, this would do nicely.)
Hello there. Yes, I knew you’d be here. You’re always here.
I’ve known you for as long as I can remember. I can remember you on the school bus when I was a kid, as the other kids made fun of me. I remember you at home, when I felt alone and didn’t share how I felt with my family, because I thought there was no way they could understand. I remember you in high school, when I desperately tried to find a group that I could fit into, and didn’t. I remember you in college, and for all of the years after, following me, shadowing me, looming over me.
I can still hear you whispering in my ear. “You’re worthless. You’ve done nothing with your life. You never will. They don’t like you. How could they? They’re going to leave you for someone better. See, what did I tell you? You’re a loss. You’re a waste. You’re a child in a grown-up body. And you need me, because you have no one, and nothing, else.”
Well, I’ve realized something. I’ve realized that I don’t need you.
And you aren’t going to win.
I will not let you.
I am going to love, and hate, and celebrate, and mourn. And you aren’t going to win.
I am going to hug people, and kiss them, and laugh, and cry, and feel with them. And you aren’t going to win.
I am going to spend my lifetime laughing, and crying, and sharing, and feeling. I’m going to sing and not care if others don’t want to hear. I’m going to dance and not care how silly I look. I’m going to scream at the top of my lungs, and run as fast as I can, and act like a child, and make people laugh. And you aren’t going to win.
I am going to shout out in righteous fury at all of the sham and drudgery and injustice found in this world. I’m going to charge at windmills, crying out at the top of my lungs, “Have at thee!” as I smite them. I will fight for everything that I know is right, because in the end, that is all that there is worth fighting for. And you aren’t going to win.
I am going to fight you every day of my life, regardless of whether you’re whispering your poison to me, or to someone else. Because, while I know that I can’t stop your whispers, neither I, nor anyone else, should pay heed to your rotten, filthy, hateful lies. And you aren’t going to win.
I am going to spend every day, for the rest of my life, acting like it’s my last day on earth, because one day, it will be. And you aren’t going to win.
I will not let you.
There were times when I thought that none of it mattered, because no matter what anyone said, or did, or felt, you always won. That one day, I would be gasping my last breath, and you would be there, whispering in my ear how it all meant nothing, and it had all been a waste. And you would laugh as I slipped this mortal coil.
But I’ve realized that honor and nobility don’t come from winning…. they are born of the fight itself. And as long as I don’t give in to you… as long as I don’t lie down and let your bile corrupt my life and the lives of those around me, you will not win. You can’t. Because you won’t win if I refuse to lose.
And so, when that day does come, and you’re there waiting for my last breath, you won’t hear me gasping. You’ll hear me laughing. At you. Because I will not have given up, and you will have lost.
And, in the end, you aren’t going to win.
Because I will not let you.