The Power Of Defeat

Defeat. Smack! Right in your face. You did not see that coming.

You weren’t walking. You were gliding, baby you were running.

You were sailing real smoothly, everything was glorious.

You very gait and presence seemed to scream: VICTORIOUS! 

Everyone was singing ‘praise be to you’, you were perfection personified.

Now you’re just there to be vilified. They taunt, “You must have been terrified!”

Before every challenge you seemed unbeatable, untameable, invincible.

But that’s all faded away. Your defence is in shambles, it’s so ‘brittle’.

They looked to you to break all the records, you were the headline of all their papers.

Today… today you are used as toilet paper.

 

You were the nailed on winner until…

 

Controversy strikes! What’s this? A rustle in your feathers?

Your superstar team suddenly looks under the weather.

Hadn’t you won before you stepped on the pitch?

You try sew a smile on your face with needle and stitch.

Time goes by. You’ve got nothing in your hands but vanity.

Vaporous dreams vanish before your eyes so you spew endless profanity.

 

Time’s up!

 

Cue the time to taunt you… oh and they do! They laugh in your face.

“Hahahahaha! You a bloody disgrace!”

A spark ignites within your weary heart.

“You thought you were all that! You really aren’t…”

What stings more than loss is the vitriol that comes with it.

An intense smouldering burns deep within. You can barely bear it.

All that potential and you buried it – you’re worth absolutely nothing.

You came back empty-handed yet you said you were going hunting.

That’s less than a zero, you think, might as well have stayed at home.

You come back to no hero’s welcome; in defeat you’re on your own.

You glance at tabloids for reprieve but all you see is your disappointed face.

And it’s plastered. Everywhere.

 

That’s the tinder in your furnace.

 

The crown’s slipped off your head, you’re no longer covered in glory

Smile’s been ripped off your face, you’re beaten, bruised and gory.

“You ain’t no second coming – hmmm, maybe you’re Jesus Lite.”

“Mate!” they laugh brutally. “Have a Goodnight! (I know I will!)”

They mock you in your face, they mock you in your sleep.

“You cocky bastard. You sowed, now reap!”

They say all these words while looking down their chins.

Not knowing their feeding the flames within.

“You never had a chance,” they claim with wide-eyed gazes –

Now this is when the flames become fierce BLAZES.

They viciously shove your face in the muck of defeat.

Not knowing that they’ve just given you the power so this is never repeat-ed.

 

Good Pain

From the balls of my feet to the nape of my neck is a low-burning sensation. With each motion (more likely attempted motion) the flames are stoked and burn brightly. My limbs have been rendered near useless. I feel as if my bones have transformed into jelly – my muscle fibres into marshmallow. Sitting up my lower back screams at me, crying tears of sweat for the slowest motion. As I lie down again my calves beg for relief. Just one session of parkour, “just a taster” they said and I feel I’ve had my fill for seven generations. And yet I absolutely loved it. I’m no masochist but I’ve never felt better. Each step takes more effort than the last. At times I feel as though I’m one hundred years older; putting on clothes or getting out of bed feel like impossible tasks. But each time I manage to do something, even the really simple things, the euphoria kicks in. I have gained a greater appreciation for every part of my body – because at long last I now feel every part of that body. Oh it’s pain alright… but it’s so damn good… it’s good pain.

Perhaps I should have listened to myself and one funny brunette I know. Maybe I should frequent the best place for my body, the secret the world would love to hear about; in her own words: “Gym!” 

Or maybe I’ll go back to the parkour session next week. Maybe I’ll shake off the cobwebs in my underused muscles and awaken them with a sweet, sweet dose of good old pain.

No

No. Such a short and simple word yet for some reason I find it very hard to say lately.

“But I say no all the time,” you say. “Why can’t you?”

Well I can. I like to think I’m very good at saying no, maybe even among the best.

Q: “Wanna go…?”

A: “No thanks.”

Q: “Wanna try?”

A: “I’m good.”

Q: “Would you like…?”

A: “I’m perfectly fine but thanks for asking.”

This is how it would go on many an occasion as I relentlessly pursued independence – individuality. Yet I eventually felt shortchanged. I’d been closing doors to opportunities, gifts and friendships because of my affinity to the word ‘no’. My friends and family felt the barrier I was putting up. I was essentially isolating myself. I had to learn to do otherwise. I had to learn to say yes, and like most things I put effort into I learned it really, really well… in this case too well.

Now we’re at the other end of the spectrum. My incessantly saying ‘yes’ has had a detrimental effect recently. It’s taken away my time and has slowly leeches part of my joy. I guess it’s time to take that back by saying what I used to say all the time when asked to do something beyond my means.

No.

The Best Wisdom

You know that bit of wisdom that you get when you ask for advice? When you’re feeling really hurt, mad, annoyed or desperate?

“I need help with this!”

“Could you please just hear me out…”

Then those that were listening have the nerve to give you reasonable advice? They tell you the words you needed to hear, even if you didn’t want to, no – especially when you didn’t want to. In the end you’re frustrated because they leave you empty of that anger.  You wanted to be mad but in the end you’re filled with peace. They shared their wisdom; their reason, when all you wanted was someone to back you up. Those people are definitely on your side.  They are backing you up. Those are the people you should put more effort loving, cherishing and keeping… because that painful advice we just described earlier, is the best wisdom you’ll ever receive.

Nakama, Grow Well

My brother you turn 21 today. I figure as you are the one who introduced me to anime, it would only be fitting if I use your favourite anime character in your message. For your 21st I’ll let Jiraiya do all the talking. Happy birthday bro!

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So to sum it all up. Jiraiya says:

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How you grow is up to you. Grow well.