Striving to be the Best

If you asked me what makes me move, it’s because of what lies behind the horizon.

Too many times I have put myself into a corner, whether it be in the academic space with deadlines piled on top of me, or dealing with friends and family. And, the most common one, confronting demons who have been dormant, growing in their power, and waiting for the chance to come after my throne.

But, I always persist. There is just too many questions I have that need to be answered. I can’t kick the bucket without my insatiable lust for knowledge to be filled up, mixing with my sins, and poured into the mold of my being. I know only theories of the timelines of what may or may not happen, but for one’s own words to vouch for if these things to happen or not only grants me that sweet ecstasy of understanding. The euphoria I get from learning dark information or information that wasn’t meant to be heard is one of my worst guilty pleasures, my blackest sin.

Enough of that! Why I “Strive to be the Best” is what you probably came here for, I’m assuming. You see this message across my blog posts, in some shape or form. We’ll, let me crave that lust for desire that I know that you have, as we all have it, my friend.

There’s a point in life where there is a gray area when one decision can make a timeline alteration, a distinct difference where your life is forever changed and nothing can reverse it. Here’s an example: you’re driving and you get into a car accident, hitting another car head on. You know that one of your legs are broken, and you are slowly drifting off into that eternal rest, as your body gets warm and your spirit starts to get colder. But you are still conscious. You see the person in the other car incapacitated, they are not moving. Every cell in your body is on fire, and you want it all to stop burning. You know that you can sleep and let your story end. Or, you can persist and fight.

But now you are faced with two crossroads: life and death. Should you live, you can either life for yourself or try and save the person who’s dancing the tarantella with, your duet of death. Or you can die, putting your pen down, knowing the last few moments you see are the last memory you’ll have. The smell of gas everywhere, the taste of blood in your mouth, the sight of metal everywhere, hearing your heart’s beat soothe ever so slowly, and feel your grip in this world waning.

Let’s say you decide to live. You find a way to get out the car. You are standing on your feet, with the will to live substituting your blood moving around your body and your heart beat. You smell what is similar to the faint catastrophe of a fire being born. Your eyes lift up to see parts of the other person’s car emit smoke. So now you’re at another crossroad. Do you save yourself from the impending death, knowing that you have more agency in your last moments, or do you save your fellow companion, as their rights have been stripped from them.

Should you choose to save your companion, will you succeed? Will you fail? Will you trip and not be able to get back up? Will they free themselves? What if they were conscious the entire time, and only needed to be awaken with the sound of your horn? There is so many timelines that things happen because of our actions.

And that’s why I Strive to be the Best. I know that there are many timelines that I will live, and every single decision has agency in the rest of my life, from something as minuscule as the color of shirt I wear one day to the college I decide to transfer to. I know that greatness is on the horizon of this landscape, and I have multiple ways to get there. And it’s all up to me to decide where I want to go.

I have too many dreams to make a reality. I want to be a professor and teach English. I want to get my Masters in English, not for the language itself, but to have as many tools as possible to learn how to communicate, understand how to read and write, and use those skills to better understand others and their interpretations of language, whether it’s dance, music, art, or the like. I want to see my brother surpass me, as I know his life force is stronger than mine, and he has lots more potential than I do. I want to see my lover get to her goal, and help people with their mental health as a psychologist, to give them hope in this dark, dark world. I want to meet back with all of the people I had to temporarily leave, as some paths one can only walk alone to move forward. I want to remember my life as long as I can, whether it mean to write down posts like this or actually have others recount our stories. I want to show my parents that I’ll prove their expectations wrong.

There is so much that I want to do while I’m alive. But the biggest thing I want to do is prove that, indeed, I am alive. I want to know that what I did is the best I can do. The notion is silly, I know, as that I cannot truly give 100% in everything, or I’d run myself ragged. But the point being is knowing that I persisted to live, whether it be to live to meet my own expectations, to live to support another, to live as a survivor of trauma, or to live for the sake of life itself. Life can end in a flash, and I want to know that I lived my best timeline, my best life.

For the sake of greatness, I Strive to be the Best, the best me I can be, the best brother I can be, the best son I can be, the best boyfriend I can be, the best friend I can be, and the best human I can be.

Because at the end of the day, all I am is human. I’m one narrative out of 8 billion. And the only way to know that you’re alive is to die, and I’ve died multiple times. But the difference between to live is to have died and came back, with a new purpose.

And that purpose is to be the best me I can be, until I have to die again, where I’ll live yet again.

– J.E.

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