A wise man once told me (no, seriously, no cliché — not that there’s a damn thing wrong with clichés, which are just truths. Bitches.)
So yeah. He once told me that the best way to get through the shit life throws at you is to perceive it as nothing more than a challenge.
“Like a game, you mean?” I asked.
“Yeah, just like that,” he replied.
Anybody who knows me, recognizes my competitive nature. I like games. But mostly, I Iike to win them. I mean, who the fuck doesn’t like to win? It’s not like I’ve ever seen someone genuinely mad about winning.
I’m bringing game nights into my family whether they like it or not — board games, charades — fucking hide-and-seek — I don’t give a fuck as long as it’s a game, and I have a chance to win.
So, even though I clearly was aware of this concept of challenges on a subconscious level, when he said what he said to me that day something just seemed to click inside my brain and I began to look back on all the times I rose to the challenges life threw at me.
Now, here’s the thing. Just because I like to win, doesn’t mean I always do. Nope. I fail. I lose — again. And again. And again.
But I don’t give up the fight. I’m resilient. If I really put my mind to something, if I make it a priority, I find a way to overcome the challenge it presents, eventually.
Like when it comes to my health, I’ll focus all my considerable power on doing everything I can to improve it. It may not work — and it hasn’t, always — but you have to try. It’s like all you have is your sheer force of will, which I’ve learned, more often than not, is all you really need.
I become stubborn. I want to win. I want to come out on top. And I won’t have it any other way. It’s an exhilarating feeling of confidence, like you can defy anything.
But then of course, the worm of reality works its way into your confidence bubble and it bursts. Fear enters. Of failure; of not being good enough; of your confidence being nothing more than wispy self-delusion…
That things are going so well, you’re waiting for that proverbial other shoe to drop.
So you make a choice. You either let the worm bust your bubble, or you don’t. You quiet the fear. You persevere. You fight on. You stay true to yourself.
It’s a game. And you’re the biggest chess piece on the board, and you have to try and rack up as many wins as possible.
A lovely, infuriating, incredibly challenging and constantly evolving game. And I’m grateful that I get to play it. And that every once in a while, I find a way to win.