It’s the easiest thing in the world to admit defeat. After all, it’s what they all want. To see us fall, to see us lay atop a pile of shattered glass, shattered dreams, shattered hope. But if it’s easy, anyone can do it, and I’m not a fan of dedicating my time to doing something any random passerby could just as easily do. And if it’s what they want, they’re never going to get it from me. And they shouldn’t from you either.

Who is this “they?” Sometimes it’s society, at large. Sometimes it’s one person. Always it’s not you. And that’s the important distinction. Never let anyone who is not you control your destiny, control your time, control what you believe to be your future. The power starts in your hands, and that is where it should always stay.

I spent a large part of my younger days (read: high school days) running from myself, and hurting myself in the process. I ran from group-to-group, peer-to-peer, never really fully trusting but always ready to abandon my identity and forge a new one, the one they wanted to believe was me. And, always for a short time, I believed I could be whatever it was they wanted. But the real me, thankfully, eventually fought her way through.

Today, I apologize to no one for who I am, even if it means I sometimes still have to fight for my own rights the same way I had to in high school. There will always exist people who try to change you, persuade you to be someone else. Just as there will also always be people who try to emulate you, flaws and all. I’m telling you to ignore what they want, relish in the delight of what they crave, and, through it all, never lose sight of who you are.

Your identity is unique, and it matters. If you give it up, not only do you lose your true purpose in this life, but you become just another face in a crowd of cowards. The world has enough of those; what we need now are champions.

“I raise my flag, don my clothes. It’s a revolution, I suppose.”


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