Once upon a time, there was a boy. He had been born into a corrupt, wicked world, a world in which anger, pain and worst of all, hate, took hostage the heart of every individual, including those who claimed to be good. The world consisted of two types of people: the good at war with evil, and the evil fighting endlessly against the good, refusing to forfeit. The world in itself was confused – how was the boy supposed to even start to comprehend all the jealousy, the rage, or the discrimination of not only the strangers around him, but of his very own friends and himself? This boy was just another victim, but he felt like he was the only one. He never understood the people around him. The people didn’t understand him, either.
One thing that was noteworthy of this kid was the way he handled things – or so he was told. The young man went through so much in the little amount of time he had been around: his parents fought, his friends left year after year, and at times he was left out, bullied, denied. He was sometimes alone, and all he could do was stand still, with his head up high. He had nothing or no one to lean on, but what he did not realize was that the pain he was going through would make him a stronger man than ever. He got punched, hit hard and brought down. At times he began to wonder if it was the world’s attempt to knock him out, or if it was some sort of test. He always found a way to push himself up. He learned not to depend on others to give him a hand and pull him up. He started to depend on his own strength.
The boy grew up to be a fine man, but he was nowhere near perfect. Selfishness, confusion, excitement and the prospect of emerging into something new, something different was so overwhelming that he could not avoid making the mistakes he would live to regret. He weeped and cried about it sometimes. He prayed to God that he would be forgiven – he asked for guidance from above. He hoped to become a better man, he wished to learn from his mistakes. The kid had faith which was admirable. God never turned away from this young man. One day, something magical happened. It was almost like he had been rewarded for persisting through the pain and tragedies of life alone, for so long…He had found love. The time he had with his girl was nothing short of breathtaking. The excitement of the first date, the first time to declare his love, the first kiss – they were all things he had been longing for. After all the pain, regret, sorrow and misery, he felt something new, something different. In that moment he realized he was happy.
He was hit pretty hard one day, when, the girl he loved and cared so much about decided to end the one thing in his life that he believed to be truly magical. In that moment the boy realized what a crazy world it was and how in a matter of seconds, a person could go from being the happiest person alive, to suffering the greatest tragedy of all – the loss of his hearts desire. That moment, perhaps one of the worse in his life, was a moment the boy would have loved to erase. But to erase that moment would also mean to erase all the beautiful moments he had with her, the memories they had made together. Years passed, and he still remembered that feeling. But he kept telling himself that it was better to have the great memories along with the pain and sorrow than to not have any of it at all. That, along with the faith the young man had in God, the belief that life was worth living, the prospect of peace, happiness and last but not least, the hope he had that love really did exist and love would find him, one way or another, made him the strong man he had always hoped to become. He was proud to be that man, and he loved God for giving him something to trust in, a shoulder to lean on when he needed it the most. He learned that no matter what came his way, however dangerous, frightening, painful or tragic it may be, he would have a guiding force in his life, something or someone would always help him make it through. All he needed to do was be strong, and believe. Have faith. And he promised himself, that he always would.
Once upon a time, there was a boy. The boy is gone now, and has been replaced by the strong, faithful, hopeful man he had always dreamed of becoming. That man is me.
-PROVEHITO IN ALTUM-