To Think of Knights and Dragons

My Equal – Rasmus Berggreen

I’ve been thinking about knights and dragons lately. Wondering what a knight would believe once they started their journey and after it was over. Did they feel compelled by the dragon to act, to fight against all odds, to try and win when winning seemed like a far-flung fantasy? Did they go on this journey knowing the risks, the pain, the anguish they may experience? When a knight comes home, with scars and marks, do they let everyone know about the journey, the tribulation, the hurt and the pain? Would they tell a story of victory and triumph or costs and measured losses? I wonder if the knights would heal, from the pain inside and out, or let the scars of the fight die with them, that way the dragon does not claim another victim. What does the knight lose along the way to the dragon? Do they return a little less of themselves having done something so great? Does a knight need a dragon to be the hero they are meant to be? Can a knight be a knight with a dragon?

I’ve never asked for an easy life, an easy one sounded boring and banal, what I wanted was an adventure, to help others, to make the world a little bit better by leaving my mark on it. So I’ve set out on my own journey, like many others in kind, to find and learn to be better than anything I could imagine ever being. And sometimes, to be honest, this journey has kind of sucked. It’s never really been easy, and I don’t know why. I’ve had to fight my through everything, and I’m starting to believe that I’m pushing too hard for a thing I’m not meant to be.

It hurts so much, these dreams I carry on my back, which drive me from the nothingness to the light have also shackled me to my own form of hell. I do not regret having these dreams, but I fight and I fight against the coming current to feel like the stream doesn’t even want me there to begin with. That who I am is beginning to erode, and this path I was sure I was taking has started to crumble beneath my feet.

Can I run? Escape from this world for a second to catch my breath and become reinvigorated? If I were to take that much-needed reprieve would my dreams still be there when I return?

All I’m left with are questions, ones that I don’t know how to answer because I didn’t know the questions needed to be asked in the first place. I’ve tired and strained, my brain feels like it’s running on overdrive all the time. The only moment I seem to find reprieve from these burdens is I close my eyes to sleep, a dreamless sleep until I am forced to wake again.

I wonder about these knights because I have my face my own dragon and I’m wondering what will be left after I am through. Will I still be able to look in the mirror and see myself, or will I have lost so much from the fight that I become someone unrecognizable? I worry that I will lose parts of myself that I can never get back and that slaying the dragon, at the end of the day, won’t be worth it, that I will have lost too much.

I’m scared and tired, and I don’t know what to do. How did those knights, in those stories find their way?

I wish I had the answer, but I’ve been making it up as I go, maybe when this is all over I will have my own tale of knights and dragons, but for today I just have to fight and hope I don’t lose too much of myself along the way.

Don’t Avert Your Eyes

I used to get in trouble a lot when I was younger, not for anything malicious, just my own flavor of rule-breaking like talking too much or being generally disorganized with school work. Whether it was at home or at school I could always count on being in some sort of trouble. I realize now that a lot was going on emotionally but that is a story for another time. When the pain and punishment came around I learned to acquiesce. To keep my head down and push forward because people couldn’t be mad forever, and pain, though uncomfortable, would eventually go away. At least that’s what I believed as a kid. Head down and push through.

I didn’t realize for a long time that this strategy only works in the short term. That each time you keep your head down and push you lose a bit more of yourself along the way. Before long you don’t know what you are pushing towards or away from. It’s becomes so natural that even the slightest hint of trouble you are attempting to push it away because you’re not standing for anything, especially not yourself. It an easier way to live, I know, I’ve lived that way, but its certainly not better.

I’ve seen a lot of things in my life, and experienced many different triumphs and tragedies but what this experience has taught me is not to avert my eyes. That when turmoil strikes it’s better to be looking up at what’s happening than ducking away into the darkness and hoping that things turn out okay in the end.

When I started looking up in these moments of pain, I wouldn’t say that it go rid of the pain but it allowed me to work through it. To not lose myself along the way. That I felt a strength well up inside, strength of character and conviction, that began to suffused itself into my every day life.

It’s hard not to close your eyes and look away when bad things happen. It takes courage to realize you may have gotten things wrong and could do better. The only way we progress is to face our fears and work through them. It’s the harder route but the right one. You may not even know if you are doing the right thing in the moment but 9 times out of 10 by having that courage things will work out better for you.

I can tell you from experience that even though life still happens and that difficult thing still occur, because I learned to look up and see my problems instead of just keeping my head down things would get better. Life is a lot of work, anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something. This is one of those things I don’t have much to speak to, it’s simple to say but hard in practice, and you NEED practice.

Don’t avert your eyes, look up and face your problems. I promise if you do, you will begin to feel like you are living again.