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Heroine

The sky condenses into a thick brew of churning, dark clouds that ominously sink lower. Smoke rises in columns, spinning like tornados as the fire descends, raining upon the unsuspecting population. Slowly, screams of terror and desperation rise from the tempest. But wait! There is a figure arising from the mist and she is brandishing what seems to be a baseball bat. She approaches the apex of the apocalypse and the world stills as she enters the scene of the explosion.

“What’s the matter?” I say, holding out tissues to my friend who is wailing on the floor. She manages to choke out “Boyfriend,” “Car,” and “Work.” I sigh and pick up my baseball bat.

“What should we take care of first?” I ask, hefting the bat up. She stares up at me for a second, and then giggles. “You’re right,” I say, “too extreme. So, what’s up?”
As she relates her awful day, the storm clouds dissipate and the circling crows retreat to their branches. By the time I’m finished, she’s laughing and the population sighs in relief.

In the turbulent scene that is high school the world is always threatening to end with a bang. This requires a heroine who is adept at defusing bombs. Luckily, I was graced with the superpowers of good listening skills and a practical mind, which makes me the automatic organizer in every situation. However, these apparently-innate heroic abilities caused me to forget a crucial aspect of a superhero’s life. Call it kryptonite or an Achilles heel, it’s all the same: a weakness. In my life-long struggle to be invulnerable I refused to ask for help. This attitude worked until high school, when my do-it-yourself approach became debilitating rather than strengthening. I came to this realization as I was struggling over my math homework, like every other night, frustrated by my inability to instantly capture the information. Why was it so hard to comprehend? I then thought back to class that day and realized something crucial: While my classmates were shouting out answers or pleas for help, I had sat there silently, swamped by confusion but unwilling to recognize my weakness.
I had to unlearn a mentality that I had built up over a lifetime and tear it down brick-by-brick. In doing so, though, I discovered a truth: there’s a reason the Justice League exists—some things are done best in a team. Now, I have no qualms about asking for help or persisting until I understand, whether I’m in Pre-Calculus or at my job. I can still be the hero in my epic tale, wielding my mighty swords of reason and composure, but I can be aided by fellow heroes such as my parents and some extraordinary friends and teachers. I have the ability to make my weaknesses into strengths with the simple action of admitting that a weakness exists. I have learned not only to save the world, but to save myself.




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