Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

-"Fighter" by Christina Aguilera


For most of my life, I've perceived myself as a victim. I have been acted upon, not the one who is acting. My choices have largely been responses to situations which I was forced into. I have long identified with victims in films and in works of literature. This is largely the reason that I empathize with, root for and value the underdog, outcast, ugly, cast away or beast. My fascination has been with others who have been acted upon- battered women, abused children, rape victims, those who have been bullied or otherwise harmed by the authority figures in their lives.

It's also the reason that I love Lisbeth Salander. Though a victim, Salander stands up for herself. She defies all conventional norms and places herself in a position where she will win against the odds. She's a true-blooded fighter.

Though I admired Salander, I didn't feel like I had much in common with her. For one thing, I am very aware of my fears and weaknesses. I know that physical altercations scare me more than they thrill me. Physical pain is my nightmare. Conflict frustrates me unless I have written proof that demonstrates I am correct, in which case I can resolve the situation. I am frightened of people who yell at me and mostly just want them to stop.

That's why it surprised me when someone close to me mentioned that they thought of me as a fighter. To me, bravery and courage are words reserved for people who run into burning buildings to rescue children. The mental and emotional kinds don't really register on my radar. Oddly, they register when I reflect on anybody else's struggles; I am the only exception to my own rule. Perhaps that's what this person meant. It's harder to stand up for what's right when you're trembling than it is when you have a congenital defect that makes you immune to pain.

Long live the trembling fighters.


The Cousin said...

A wise warrior knows when to wage a battle.

A foolish fighter will fight impulsively much to their own demise.

Something to think about...

This person said...

It is indeed what I meant. Bravery is when one is scared, but rises to the challenge nonetheless. Thank you for being a fighter.