College. The "best years of your life."
I always wondered whether or not people actually believed that crap, or if it was just propaganda to spout at the pep rallies and floor meetings. "Team-building," and all that. Turns out it was all true, at least for me.
Now, I'm not gonna lie to you. Not everything in here is one-hundred percent accurate according to what actually happened, but for a whole host of reasons, names, events, personal descriptions, etc. were altered, primarily to ensure the security of those referenced in this record. Unlike the government, I can assure you that these "redacted" portions take absolutely nothing away from the overarching story, which, if I may say so, is rather incredible.
This story begins like just about any other: average guy, average day, average life, blah, blah, blah. But stories are like life. We all begin the same: dragged into consciousness kicking and screaming and helpless and needy. So really, how we begin isn’t nearly as important as how we end. Everyone likes to think they’ll live to eighty or ninety or even as little as seventy, that longevity equals fulfillment and success, but few ever consider the possibility that they might be wrong. Fewer still stop to think that maybe that’s not such a bad thing. After all, to quote Infamous 2, “Half as long, twice as bright.”
But I digress.
The point is, if you’re going to survive life, much less succeed to any great degree, you need to be prepared to face the impossible. People or situations that tower over you like skyscrapers, always threatening to put you out on the street or out of work or in the ground. Human beings face this every day without realizing it, because they just chalk it up to the stress of a fast-paced modern life. Some endure it with the calm drudgery of a drone. Others flee to the snow-capped mountains of Nepal, where they can meditate on the “enlightenment” of a solitary lifestyle.
I find it’s the third type, the one who confronts the impossible, that creates not only a niche for themselves, but a future for all of humanity. Who are the people history remembers best? Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill. Movers and shakers who never backed down from a fight, never took no for an answer. But even if you don’t affect change on a global scale, if you can make that difference, just a little bit of difference in your own life, or someone else’s, you strike a match that no amount of opposition can extinguish.
I tell you this from experience, because I was there once, staring into the abyss we all face at a pivotal moment of decision without another soul to lean on. The difference, however, is that my abyss stared back.