I am violently warring for peace

I am violently warring for peace. I know this is a paradox, and I\'m rather
proud because it is true. Passivity has been a lifelong threat, laziness a
constant lure in my search for identity. This world begs me to succumb to
existing in the image of someone else, it asks only that I slip silently and
blindly into the niche it provides instead of carving my own. I required a
long time to work up courage to fight for the serenity I had glimpsed in hot
summer woods and in lovingly handled books read late until the early morning.
Doubt had established itself in my mind at some early age, when or why I do
not know, and I could trust any person or group more than myself. Doubt begat
fear, and fear gave birth to obscuring myself from the eyes of the world
while I was a child.

Now, I am dedicated to the fight, after over five years of fear and
immobility. I rejected the easiest way out of life, and demanded truth. I
strengthened my body as I strengthened my mind against the attacks I faced.
When I was fifteen I started Tae Kwon Do, the martial arts class that was
offered through my school. I learned more about blocking, kicking, and
punching in the first two weeks of that class than I had known my entire
life. My once powerless body, petite and thin, could knock the wind out of
someone with a well placed punch, and I could kick people taller than me in
the head. So what I could do, I did, and now my friends instinctively block
when they see me grin mischievously in their direction. I am content to know
I have taught them something useful.

Last spring for the third time in a row, I shakily accepted my teacher\'s hand
as he congratulated me on second place in women\'s division sparring. It was a
bittersweet triumph, three times now I have lost to the same girl. She has
become an icon for everything I wish to triumph over in this world. She is
beautiful, hair like black silk, impeccable taste in clothing,makeup like a
Renaissance painting, and average when it comes to everything else. I watch
her silently stride into art class on three inch heels, skirt above her knee,
no runs in her stockings, and manicured nails smoothing invisible wrinkles
from he shirt. I look down at myself, one of my shirt buttons missing,
securely replaced with a safety pin, my comfortable green pants provide
freedom of movement if little style, and my sturdy black shoes have been with
me for three years. I hear my voice laughing almost too loudly, physics notes
are sticking out of my sketchbook, and I am well aware of that I am not

I fight this opponent I have created and what she represents not because she
chooses to live her life by the beauty standard, and not because I feel
inferior. We are at war because no one outside of Tae Kwon Do class ever sees
what she is capable of. They don\'t know that those perfectly moisturized
hands can break through boards or leave your head spinning. No one knows that
those feet captured in three inch heeled prisons can leave you hurting for
days, bruised where you blocked, bruised and bleeding where you failed to. I
fight her because she is a symbol of how I tried to hide myself and my
potential. I\'m tired of being afraid of how the world will respond to me, and
I war against the part of myself that would rather just please fashion
magazines and popular concepts. Peace comes from accepting my identity, not
from hiding it. I will laugh loudly at outside ideas of who I am supposed to
be, kick down the opposition to my goals, and I will continue to fight until
I have my peace.

Category: Social Issues