Honey, you can’t be a hero in this lifetime

To Wendy, who will be celebrating her 18th birthday,
this is for you:

Honey, you can’t be a hero in this lifetime.
Whatever you think or say or do,
no matter how grand they seem to be,
no monument will be dedicated for you.
Soon after you’re gone,
not a single human being alive will mark your birthday on their planners;
they will not look forward to it
because it’s not going to be a special non-working holiday.
And by the turn of the century,
the only proof that you ever existed would be your
Facebook statuses and Instagram photos.

Honey, you will not be a hero in this lifetime.
Your name will never be written in the pages of history books
because you don’t deserve it.

You don’t deserve to be pitted up against those heroes
whose worth are measured only by how much they have done
without recognizing how deeply they have felt
as if the end of our actions—
our mistakes and trophies
our losses and gains
are the very best definitions of us;
as if it isn’t enough of a victory to
get up and get through everyday
despite feeling lost and bruised and defeated.

The world equates greatness with answers to questions like
“What are you fighting for?”
“What have you to offer mankind?”
“What are you willing to give up for others?”
What this. What that.
Nobody cares to ask “How well did you stand up
for yourself?”
The world discounts your every hope and every fear.
because the world does not know any better.

So don’t listen to anyone who tells you:
“Stop thinking about yourself.
Stop being selfish.”
Instead, remember my every word:
Think of yourself more.
Love yourself better.
And while doing so, don’t be ashamed.
Don’t be guilty. Be at peace with the fact that
self-love is not at all being greedy—
it is being fair.

Honey, you don’t have to be someone else’s hero in this lifetime.
But if you insist on saving the whole world,
then you must first learn to save yourself from yourself.
There are wars inside you.
Maybe you’re caught up between being scared
and being brave. It’s alright.
Fear and courage are equally lovely.
Consider yourself lucky that it is in your personal destiny
to be borne out of the collision
of many beautiful things.

If I could be a historian,
I will write your story in such a way that you will
be bigger than all the battles you’ve ever fought
And I will make you live forever because that’s what
noble men and women are built for.
If I should be a sculptor,
I will recreate you using the strongest stone marble
and make sure you don’t break.
I will carve your every detail in such a way that when they look at you
or touch you, they will feel every scar beneath your skin.

But I will never be a historian or a sculptor in this lifetime.
I am no prodigy when it comes to facts or visual arts.
I can only be that friend who will always be there to say

Honey,
whatever you think or say or do or become in this lifetime
I will love you all the way anyway.

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