The Writer & the Fighter

Sometimes this thing we call life can be a real fuck of a thing. We as humans can move from moments of pure elation to moments of sheer terror and uncertainty in an instant and our whole lives can turn on a dime. We travel through life as though we are racing towards something important; some kind of elusive goal that is always just out of our reach, and we rarely ever stop to live in the moment and realise just how lucky we are to be alive. By living in the moment I don’t mean going out dancing in a night club or curling next to your significant other underneath a blanket. Those things are great, don’t get me wrong. But I mean truly living in the moment and understanding just how wonderful it is to be who we are, where we are, and who we are with.

But nevertheless we race onward like lemmings towards the edge of our existence where we will pause momentarily as we teeter on the edge of oblivion and realise just how much we have missed out on due to our own inabilities to appreciate just what we have right now. We throw ourselves at jobs that we despise, or university courses that fail to capture our attention, or live a life surrounded by friends that never quite allow us to shine as we truly should. Only to look back at the end and wonder why we bothered with all this trivial shit in the first place. It’s a complete paradox when you think about it. We actively live our lives immersing ourselves in situations and ideas that we know we will live to regret on our deathbed. Yet onward we march towards our own inevitability like lemmings until something comes along and forces us to take a reality check and realise just how far from our true life’s calling we have actually wandered.

Perhaps reality check would have been a more appropriate name for this entry. However I felt that something as bland as this would fail to capture the true essence of what I am trying to impress upon you, my faithful reader in this post. You see a couple of days ago my life underwent a colossal shake up that has left both my partner and I re-examining exactly what it means to be alive. We, like my introduction above, underwent one of those moments where pure elation transitions to sheer terror in the space of a few hours.

-I don’t know if you have noticed over the course of this blog, but I kind of struggle with the whole living in the real world thing. I say that I go to university to better myself, but oftentimes my presence in lectures and tutorials is trivial at best. I coast through classes trying my hardest to bite my tongue and refrain from telling all the chumps and fucks around me what I really think of them. I question everything and I hate my fellow students with a passion that far exceeds healthy. I don’t participate in in-class discussions and try my very hardest to avoid even learning the names of people who sit beside me. I’m your arch-typical arrogant dick who believes that he is too good to be stuck in a room with such uneducated swine. And for the most part, I’m right. Whenever test time comes around or I hand in an assessment, I usually walk away with marks that are better than the average.

I used to think that it was because I was better, because I was gifted, but the truth is that the course I have been studying wasn’t the right fit for me. I have been studying a degree in creative writing, learning how to develop plot lines and use a frigging comma correctly, when I already know how to do all that shit. So I recently submitted an application to change courses and redirect my studies to where they would be better suited: Journalism. I can write creatively, and I do often. But now I am going to learn how to write professionally too.

Two days ago my application was accepted and I was granted entry into my new course. I was elated, if not a little overwhelmed about spending another three years at university, but together my partner and I were ecstatic. Pure elation. But then just a few hours later came the sheer terror that left us both careening towards an evening of tears and heartbreak. My beautiful partner was diagnosed with an illness that for my own sake we will call the ‘Big C’. It came as a shock and left both of us reeling as to how the fuck this had happened and why someone as kind and caring as her could be struck down with such an illness.

-Now before we go any further it is important for me to state that what she was diagnosed with is a very minor case of the Big C, and one that can be removed completely with a small operation that is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. Together her and I will face and overcome this rather minor hiccup in her health before moving on with our lives and forgetting all about the time cried our eyes out in our bedroom thinking the world was going to end. But things could have been so much worse, and for the space of about eighteen hours we really thought that they were. But my partner, she’s a fighter. And if things really had of been as bad as we initially thought than I know deep within my heart that not only would she have fought with everything she had to overcome this illness; she would have kicked the Big C’s arse.

But this whole ordeal has got me thinking about life in general and how much I truly take everything that I do for granted. Every single day of our lives we are faced with challenges both big and small that we must face head on. Sometimes those challenges are easy to overcome, like a crowded freeway or a blocked drainpipe. But sometimes those challenges are more daunting to face. Sometimes it feels as though you are in a boxing ring squaring off against this fucking thing we call life, watching as the hulking bastard with hands the size of Christmas hams seethes through clenched teeth and throws vicious haymakers at your chin. You can dodge and weave all you want, but eventually some of those thunderous blows are going to strike you.

They hit with the force of a freight train and leave you wobbling, but in those milliseconds after that blow hits, life gives you a sliver of opportunity. It drops its guard to make that punch and if you are quick enough you can hit back with a blow of your own. You can smack life right in the face or grab it round the throat and throw it to the floor. You can jump on it and beat it until it submits to your own whims and your superiority. You can do it. You know you can. It has been done before. But if you want to win in this battle with life you really do have to be prepared to take those vicious blows to the chin. You have to be prepared to stand on your own two feet after the shock of a diagnosis hits or the blow of a dream shattered, or a love scorned or abandoned leaves you bloodied and broken.

You can stop yourself from becoming another fucking lemming racing towards their own inevitability of failure and regrets, but you’ve got to be willing to fight your fucking arse off to do it. Over the past two days I’ve learnt the true meaning behind embracing everything that you have and everything that you are. I’m an arsehole, a lover, a man, and a writer all rolled up into a mixture of thoughts, feelings and flesh. I’m a student, and a great one. But I’ve just got to learn to overcome that voice in my head telling me that I’m better. It might be true right now, but if I’m not careful and I don’t continually try to excel then all of those other students who I’ve failed to take notice of will surpass anything I’ve ever created.

As for my girl; she’s a fighter. And together we can accomplish anything that we want. We can beat the Big C and live to fight another battle.

Author: Chris Nicholas

Chris Nicholas is an author from Brisbane, Australia. He has published two novels, and is currently working on his third.

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