Sunday, 28 September 2014

Fighting Back My Way

If you ever saw me behind this dusty and rarely-ever-cleaned desktop screen, my appearance wouldn't strike you as that of a warrior. I recoil from dangerous and spine-tingling moves demonstrated on WWE, perhaps nicknamed a 'scaredy cat' whenever my brother notices me covering my face as a guy with a hot six pack takes another swipe at their equally toned opponent. Violent films are avoided like a A-Lister steering clear of Primark in favour of the more up-market Chanel and Dior, for the gore, noise and pows are often taken a step too far, hardly in accordance with my love of soppy, yet heartfelt rom-coms. And physical attacks? The nearest that I get to 'physical' is kicking the TV remote towards me whilst lying on the sofa, living up to my unofficial status as a potato-loving coach potato. A warrior is maybe the least likely occupation that I'll ever go into once I enter the jobs market and I, for one, am glad of it: fighting isn't exactly instilled in my nature.

However, exceptions are sometimes made if I believe that punching a boxing bag is justified, and is definitely worth messing up my hair - which is rarely, if never out of place - over. If it's for the sake of burning off some chips that, on reflection, shouldn't have been gobbled up so enthusiastically at lunchtime, I can't really argue against fighting to get rid of several moments of pure joy, can I? In another instance, you must fight to get what you want, such as the loveliest ever pair of shoes that you can bet your life on will sell out within seconds - and, no matter what, must be yours. You see, some forms of fighting don't have to take place in a boxing ring and be televised in front of millions of people around the world à la WWE.

Yet, some of us experiences battles that are encountered in life and, depending on your instincts, will either be fought or lost. From fighting to keep a job to asserting your confidence, there are some battles that will truly test us, and be regarded as much more important than a learning curve. There are two paths that we can take - or avoid - when faced with life's dramas, and it is up to us to decide which side we will follow: that of a fighter or a loser. Even if we are not crowned with the title of a winner when we reach the other side, nothing can diminish the fact that we fought with pride and tried our very hardest in seek of success. Once a fighter, always a fighter.

But for a loser? Well, it isn't even worth thinking about that one. If you give into weakness, you will be gripped by hardship if you ever attempt to drag yourself from that position. And, long after one battle has been fought (and lose on your behalf), that lack of confidence will follow you like a stalker claiming its prey, forever under control of what you could have influenced.

Whatever happens now or in the future, a fire fuelled by determination to be the admirable fighter burns inside of me. Being called a loser is the worst insult imaginable if positioned on the losing side of a team, but it takes on a different meaning when referred to yourself as a person. The hurt that follows after the initial shock can be as blinding as glancing head-on into the sun, an all-mighty impact of which I will do anything to avoid - whether I am the inexperienced fifteen year old or have had many years behind me. I want to win every battle that comes my way, because nothing tastes sweeter than success - and that flavour is best savoured after enduring times of struggle and even near-lost. Even this current one, which has been the cause of miserable silences, heart-breaking sadness and stomach-turning dread, can only be won by me - contemplating other possibilities would bring more anguish than all the incidents combined.

This battle in question slowly came into action a short while after I started at my new school which, as time has passed, has become worse and worse. My 'battle' is against another pupil who, with no logical explanation, is conducting a vile hate campaign against me. Although I've always been pleasant towards her, she has thrown it back in my face by being sarcastic, spreading rumours about me and acting disrespectfully towards me. And, several months since it first emerged, I've had enough.

All my attempts to cool the fire and offer her second chances are no longer valid because she has wasted all these opportunities to forgive, forget and move on. It baffles me as to why she finds it so hard to let us lead separate lives which, if it were not for her rude behaviour, would actually be possible. Jealousy, weakness or general nastiness are among the potential reasons for her disliking me, yet I wouldn't bother wasting time on choosing just one.

To be honest, I don't really care about why she cannot stand me because, as long as we don't utter any words to one another, I'm away from the battlefield, no longer shielding myself from every potential sneer, yell or outburst of abuse - aimed at me like a loaded gun pointed at a criminal. I don't go looking for problems because, what with schoolwork and life in general, I neither need it nor want it, yet looks what happens - the perfect catastrophe! Unless I never dare to get out of bed each morning, I cannot see how I will be able to stay away from not only the likes of her, but the strong possibilities of emerging as a fighter. As I've said before, fighting isn't in my nature and, if possible, I would prefer to stay away from it, but now is not a time to hide under my bed and hope that all these issues will disappear. Only a fight will result in the discovery of a cure: no bullies.

When I wake up tomorrow morning and prepare to get changed, instead of only putting on my white blouse and knee-length skirt, there will also be the addition of something which, albeit invisible, will offer me more protection than any weapon or torrent of words ever could: confidence. It might not be physical, but is visible when radiated with the way that you assert yourself, which is the best-selling  - and most pocket-friendly - product on the battle-fighting market. You cannot buy confidence; it must be gained by self-belief or experience. Where mine is derived from, I cannot tell you because many experiences have contributed towards it, but even this bully has given me another ounce of confidence that didn't exist until I crossed paths with her - because I am better than what she will ever be.

Though it is slightly embarrassing whenever my mum sings along to it when it is played on the radio, Kelly Clarkson was onto a winner by declaring that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger because, if it wasn't for being faced with potentially lethal stuff, I might never have gained the strength to ward off future battles. And fifteen years worth of experience shall come in handy when I come across this LikeATeen hater at school - the only powerful thing about her is the amount of chemicals she uses to dye her hair! At least my power is a result of who I am, and doesn't need to rely on L'Oreal to boost it.

Anyway, I will stop at nothing to claim the title as Queen Bee (despite my overwhelming fear of those scary creatures) and assert myself as a fighter, not a loser, when this bully decides to stir more trouble. If she wants to stir her cauldron and cackle like a witch, so be it as long as she doesn't bother me or anybody else! At the end of the day, I yearn to settle down at my school and feel safe during the two years or so that I'm staying there. As all teenagers either know or will one day realize, studying for your GCSEs is enough of a living nightmare; it needn't be worsened by Sabrina the Teenage Witch's evil little sister casting spells aimed at ruining your life! Saying that, it's given me some ideas for Halloween which is around the corner...

The battle may not have been won yet and is looking a little bit uncertain, but I won't give into this girl's desires and become the loser that, behind the vile words that come out of her mouths, is what she truly is. I hope to sort this out for once and for all this upcoming week because it is something that nobody should accept.

Fighters like us, after all, are entitled to a break from the battlefield!

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