I believe my character can be very accurately explained by the moments when I cried.
I cried when I was 15, after we spent summer with relatives. I had such a good time that I knew it could not be reproduced. We were growing, and we knew a few years later some of us would be in college. Furthermore, at that time two or three years in age difference mattered a lot more than when I was 10. I was more aware of the effect of time than I have ever been.
I cried when I was 16, after my father told me I was rejected from an abroad summer research. He said he received the message on his phone. I thought he was teasing me since my grades were a lot higher than required. He smiled, and his eyes showed sympathy. I looked to my mother in distress, she had the same smile and the same sympathetic look. I slowly escaped to the back of our house, and cried where no one could see.
I cried when I was 17, at the end of a school competition in eastern Europe. Everything was so different, and I wanted to be there. They seemed to be happy and I wasn’t. “Why were my features different than theirs? Why wasn’t I born there? Maybe then I would have been as happy as they seemed to be.” It was then that I became the most religious and patriotic in my life. Only the promise of an eternal life in heaven with everything I want could make me see any point in living. I prayed in nights, and I truly felt close to God at points. I also began seeing my national identity as very important. I read old books, and tried to speak the way they did. A subtle attempt to convince myself that I was what I wanted to be, and that their happiness (which I could not obtain) was not what I wanted.
I cried when I was 18 on my mother’s shoulder. I was leaving for a college far away. We weren’t close then, me and her. I would say we were even more distant than we should have been. I was scared of the unknown. But I chose to exchange the ugly known for the unknown.
I cried when I was 19 in my dorm room. I felt very lonely when tens of people were in the same floor as me. A year has passed during which I have walked alone everyday in a swarm of people. I used to think they could not detect my loneliness.
I cried when I was 20, when me and my instincts fought over one fundamental view of “the right decision” and the action to be done. Even the promise of heaven could not help me then. It all seemed to me as the drug I administered to myself in order to compensate for my hatred of how things were. It seemed like using drugs or alcohol; I was constructing a world where I would be happy, but I became aware that it was not of the same kind my real world was. If there was a God, I would have hated him. If there wasn’t, then I was doomed to my life and nothing more.
Although I was calmest, in years, when I was 21, I cried occasionally for a general feeling of unhappiness. Nothing specific.
Over the last month I have cried so many times for many different reasons.
Yesterday, I made full use of the fact that this is a school holiday. I went to one of my class rooms at night, the lights were off, and very few students were on campus (the unlucky ones, I thought. Felt some sort of a bond between us). I sat down in that empty classroom and cried for a while, and then I pushed the seats out of my way and laid on the ground.
Is it so irrational to surrender while it is still a choice?
When the battle has already been lost, it means nothing to surrender. The harm, all the harm, has been done. The little hope left in the future will be comforting, because it means giving up is still a choice. When there is no hope, I will be forced to surrender, and I will be defeated.
I will save us from that fate, I will save us.