Life is complicated, it is coalesced randomness in its purest and most distilled form, it is both fair and unfair at the same time; a conciliation of warring forces and often uncontrollable circumstances that when mixed together have the power to shake down everything you know with the blink of an eye—or radically change everything you know in a positive way.
Life will never be absolutely fair and just, to expect life to have a semblance of fairness and justice towards each and every human soul in this planet no matter their condition would be a fool’s errand, to demand “social justice” or justice of any other kind towards these perceived “unfairness” is utterly foolishness, specially when done on behalf of others whilst self flagellating yourself and others because you’re white or whatever.
Perhaps life has put you through an easy path from day one and has filled you with countless blessings whether they’re deserved or not, if so, fantastic. Sometimes everything just seems to work and flow seamlessly in perfect synergy as you walk through the path life has placed you at, but sometimes, it all feels like everything is going against you, in some cases, the slightest bump in your life’s path can unleash a series of events that change everything you know and take for granted.
Life often presents us with the illusion of choice when there is none, we have no say in the circumstances of our birth, we don’t choose what genes we inherit when we are born, we don’t choose who we fall in love with, I could go on for a while. In a certain way, we don’t have much of a choice in many aspects of our lives—even in the roles that we are to play in the larger scheme of things, but that’s just how it is.
Everyone has their own life’s story to tell, some are tragic and unfair, others are joyful and great, while others are testaments to the power of human will and exemplar displays of an adamant ability to persevere against all odds; again, you can’t demand life, the purest form of chaotic randomness there is, to act fair and just to everyone no matter what, that’s not how things work, the best we can do is work with what we have and craft a solution with the tools available.
To live your life is to embrace the joyful moments you get, even if you can only count them with one hand; to live your life is also to suffer at times, to stumble, to fall, to learn from each experience you go through—good or bad—to rise up higher than the day before and exceed beyond your own limits so that you can achieve that which at first might have seem impossible or intangible.
We’ve all made mistakes at one point or another, we aren’t perfect, no one can claim to be; perhaps you suffer regret due to a choice you made in the past that to this day still haunts you at night—trust me, I’ve been there.
Everyone has their own demons to fight against, everyone has their own burdens that weight heavy upon their shoulders, who better than you to understand that which currently chains your spirit and drains you the energy and willpower you need to achieve your potential.
No one else but yourself can fully understand the struggles you face, the wars you wage both outside and within, wars waged in body and in mind. In any case, life is a cruel mistress, she doesn’t care if you have balls or not, she’ll kick you there whenever she feels like doing so just because she can, life will bully you more than once because she is the primal bully, and when life is done bullying the shit out of then you can fall into an abyss of Depression, anxiety, and a whole array of negativity that can often asphyxiate you and prevent you from creating some great and beautiful.
Depression is no joke, I’ve coexisted with it for quite some time now; the past years are notably some of the worst for me when it comes to it, all that has happened in the past years has been quite taxing for both my brother and I.
I have my own fair share of regrets and mistakes that I wish could go back and undo, some of which go back to almost two decades ago; I have my own fair share of inner demons to struggle against (the “Venezuelan Pariah” line in my twitter profile is there for a reason, I’ve never been a normie, far from it), and if that wasn’t enough, the utter feeling of despair and powerlessness that I felt for the past months as I saw my mother’s health and body wither away fighting a battle against a liver leiomyosarcoma which took her away from us made me feel useless; this rare form of cancer that life put in her path was something she never deserved because she was nothing else but a force of good in this country, leiomyosarcoma is a word that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
All of this has unleashed the floodgates of depression on me, and if the recent years of my life and regret for the past weren’t enough, throw in the absolute collapse of my nation on top of it all. The constant feeling of uncertainty of what will happen here next, the dread and despair that emanates from all of it is exacerbated by the imperious need to escape from this disaster as soon as possible so your brother can have a future away from this tragedy and away from all the mourning and grief, and let’s not forget the bureaucratic and nightmarish puzzle involved in all of this which I’m trying to solve at the moment so he and I can migrate legally. These are the things that keep me awake at night.
Hell, I may not like to openly admit it but anxiety has joined the party recently, it has been busting my nuts really hard for the past months following my mother’s passing, and I’m writing these words in the middle of yet another sleepless night.
But despite all my past fuck ups, despite all the things that I wish I had done differently, despite all that has happened to me, and the blows life has dealt to me in in recent times there is one thing I can’t afford to do: I can’t give up, and neither should you if you’re facing dire and troublesome times of your own.
No matter what happens, no matter how much think you’ve fallen, now matter how things might seem to be unresolvable, no matter how unwinnable the game looks, now matter how discontent you can be with your very own self there is always the possibility to rise, stronger than before, to break the shackles of depression and self-doubt, to be free of the despair and anxiety that have manifested as a result of your own strugglers, and tell your inner demons to fuck off; when that happens you will be the one kicking life in the cunt.
I am not an expert of any kind in these matters, so from now own I will be talking out of my own ass, that being said, I wanna talk about three fundamental pillars that keep me going when it seems easier to just give up.
A raison d'être
We all thrown into different paths in life that we must walk, these paths come in many shapes and sizes, sometimes that path’s measurements isn’t fit for us; we all have different enemies to fight against and different obstacles to overcome if we want our stories to have a happy ending, one that is dictated by your own terms and nobody else’s.
If you feel stray, if you’ve lost your way and can’t seem to get back on the right path, when you feel like there’s no point in trying—try to seek out your raison d’être, a reason or cause that only you can deem worthy of devoting your heart and soul into, you’re the only one that can determine what is worth fighting for you.
Is it a dream? A person? Rallying behind a good cause? Is it yourself? Only you can answer that.
Find that reason to keep going against the storms that hinder your dreams and in it you will find a compass to sail through the turbulent and wild seas you’re in the middle of, your focal guidance towards the right path that can materialize those dreams that you have swirling in your mind into a tangible reality. A cause, a noble cause for you to fight against everything and anything that opposes you, emerging victorious in the end–even when that which opposes you is your very own self-doubts and fears.
When I was a kid I always aspired to be some sort of hero like the ones I’d play on video games or saw on tv; in many ways, I still am that lonely and fat kid that wore towels as a cape and swung toy swords doing imaginary heroic deeds, defeating imaginary foes—or pretended to be M. Bison as I Psycho Crushed everything (I had a particular red towel that acted as Bison’s cloak, I got a chuckle when I found it all tattered recently, good times man, good times). I intend to be a force of good in this world, and this is a goal that I wish to accomplish one way or another.
When all seemed like it couldn’t get better, when my own physical and mental flaws mixed with my regrets and then it all weighted down on me I always remember that I had two great reasons to fight for: My mother and my brother.
Now, I’ve lost one of them, but my resolve continues, I will see through that my brother has a future—a good future, that is one of the last things I said to my mother hours before her death; when I was a kid I asked her for a brother, and she gave me one, flawed, just like me, but my brother is the most precious thing my mother blessed me with, even above my own life and the set of morals that she passed down to us.
I know not every case is similar, some struggle with their own mind, others must fight a war against their own body, and others struggle against circumstances or other human beings that surround them; but when you feel like giving up, seek out in your heart and in your mind, you’ve got to keep searching, and before you realize it you will have found that raison d’être that will let you exceed against all odds.
Maybe you feel like there’s nothing in your life worth giving a damn for, I’ve been through some dark periods myself, where nothing really mattered for me, specifically during my college years when every day felt more insipid than the one before, I felt like there was no point in anything, but deep down there it was, that faint and childish desire to leave a mark in this world, to save a life—and thus, the world entire—that small spark grew up to be a flame that still burns bright to this day despite the tragic events that I’ve faced in recent years.
When you’re at your lowest always remember that no matter how shitty your life is at the moment, there is always something to hold onto that is worth fighting for, something worth protecting with every ounce of your being, something worth getting out of bed every morning, something worth going to bed at night to rest so you can keep fighting the day after.
Destroy that which opposes and hinders you, protect that which is loved by you; draw an unmatched passion and an unstoppable willpower from conciliating these two opposing elements and you’ll find the strength to carry on and rise above all else, to carve a path in life, one that is dictated by your own terms, to go forth towards your absolute victory.
I’d say it’s part of an Absolute Doctrine—a concept that I want to explore through the main character in my upcoming science fiction book series: Sword of the Nation, which as of the time of this writing, I’m in the process of writing the last chapter of the first book and its corresponding epilogue so that I can move onto figuring out the editing and publishing steps.
When things are at its darkest, always remember that cause for which you’re fighting for, for me it used to be both my mom and brother, now it’s primarily my brother, it’s the reason I wake up every morning, it’s the reason I am dealing with the grotesque behemoth known as bureaucracy (both national and international) so that I can find a way to migrate legally together and start a new life—so that he can have that future that I dream for him outside these borders, because there’s nothing else for him here anymore, not when this country is all but done for.
He is, how can I say it, autistic-ish and suffered from a brain condition that was thankfully fixed through surgery six years ago. I’ve been trying to help him out seek out something that he’s passionate about so he can focus on it, perhaps its competitive fighting games (he’s absolutely a million times better than me at them), perhaps its gamedev, perhaps it’s something else. We still haven’t found that answer, he’s very shut-in, but we’re working out on that, together.
I want him to find his own raison d’être so that he can unleash his potential in this world that is currently locked inside his mind, one thing’s for sure, he’s definitely smarter than me, a trait he and I got from our mom and certainly not from our deadbeat dad.
Humor (and the importance of Laughter)
All my jokes are cries for help.
That being said and in all seriousness, no matter what shit life throws at you, do not lose your sense of humor, it’s one thing you can’t ever afford to lose. Humor, alongside the joy it produces, are both invaluable sources of power against the adversities you might be facing at certain points in life—even depression itself.
Knowing when and how to laugh at one’s own shortcomings and one’s own mishaps can help you cope and learn how to overcome them, humor is a fantastic thing. Sure, laughing won’t cure your illness, it won’t fix your debts or save your loved ones from death, but it’ll lift your spirit and give you a little bit of strength that might just be what you need, it might help you see things with greater clarity and unclutter your mind long enough to concoct an answer to whatever dilemma is haunting you.
You have no idea how important it was for me that I was at least able to make my mother smile and laugh in her last week on this Earth, three decades ago she was the one tucking me in bed, three decades later and there we were, our roles reversed, me being the one that was carrying her and tucking her in bed because she could no longer do it on her own, it was very uncomfortable for her because as her health worsened her movement became more limited and impaired. I couldn’t restore the loss of mobility caused by chemo (not the proper one I may add, because that’s all that was available in the country), but at least I could make her smirk and laugh so that her bathroom trips and bedtime sleeps were more enjoyable.
Weeks after she passed away I checked her phone to get a number of someone I needed to contact and I went through her photos, there’s pictures of her that span the whole three years of her fight against cancer, surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues, and there she was, smiling in each and every one of them.
She never stopped laughing, not at all; the last picture us three took together in New Years eve was shoddy because both her and I were a bit out of frame with our brother in the middle. Little did I knew was that that badly taken photograph was taken exactly three months before the worst day of my life.
So if you’re feeling down, find a way to laugh and cheer, something to reignite the sense of humor that exists all of us, grab a buddy or two and find something to laugh, it is after all, the best medicine for your soul.
I’m a flawed mess and I’ve lost one of the most precious things in my life, all of my flaws and all that has happened to me would mean that I have no reasons to laugh ever again, and yet I do, because losing my humor is something I can’t afford to do. It’s a way to diminish despair after life has thrown the worst she has to offer at you, I’m reiterating here but humor is the one thing you can’t left that bitch called life take away from you, don’t ever forget that.
If you’re reading this and for some reason you don’t have anyone to laugh with just let me know through twitter, discord, or anywhere else and I’ll try my best to make you smile and laugh, sure, it won’t actually solve or fix whatever it is that it’s wearing you down, but it can give you that bit of respite to rise up and carry on the morning after, that I can attest to.
Humor is a way to tell life that you refuse to give up and that it can go fuck herself.
Never underestimate the importance of friends and the Power of Friendship™.
The burdens life is making you carry—you don’t have to carry them alone, your friends will always be there for you to help you lessen the weight of your burdens in one way or another, I’m sure that they will always be willing to support you; don’t let your personal struggles and inner demons make you push your friends away, that is something very terrible to do to both yourself and them.
Don’t make the mistake of sheltering out like I once did and shut yourself down completely from everyone, that will end up harming you more than you can imagine, trust me.
Sometimes, having someone to talk to makes all the difference in the world—even if you just need someone that is willing to listen to you, their words of support and encouragement can be a beacon towards finding that solution that can lead to a better tomorrow.
If you have a friend in distress, try to protect their smiles and reach out to them, talk to them, don’t let them alone, you might end up doing more good than you can imagine with such a simple thing, you might end up pulling them from some dark places before its too late.
And hell, if you don’t have any friends or anyone to talk to, just remember that I’ll always be here, I’m a mess when it comes to socializing but I’ll listen and I will try my best to crack a smile or two outta you, or even play some vidya gaems or shitpost together.
To all of my friends, both old and new, to those that I’ve lost contact with over the course of the years, to everyone that has sent me messages of support or helped me financially in these troublesome times, to those strangers that were willing to lend an ear and let me share my story, I owe them the world–and then some more. Much of what strength I have left comes from them.
One day, when I’m long gone from this socialist utopia I’ll repay all of it somehow.
I hope that these words which are based on what I’ve experienced in my atypical life can give you some clarity, hopefully serve as some sort of light if you’re facing a foggy moment in your life. I know solving the riddles and nuances of one’s life involve more these three pillars, but these are a good way to start solving it all out.
If you’re smooth sailing in life then awesome, if you’re stumbled and made mistakes then stand up, there is no shame in asking for a helping hand so that you can get back on your feet; in both cases be prepared to stumble at any time, at any moment, for whatever circumstance.
But if you feel hopeless and feel that there’s no way out, always remember that you can draw the strength to carry on if you have a cause to fight for, that you can defend yourself from the dread of depression and anxiety with the power of humor, and don’t forget that you don’t have to fight alone because you will always have friends at your side.
True strength lies in rising up higher than before so you can fight for the future that you want, and before you realize it, that will you seek will there in your hands.
To wrap this up I want you to know this, no matter how bleak things might look in your horizon, know that this mess of a Venezuelan pariah will always be there rooting and believing on you no matter what, because in the end, we’re all gonna make it.