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Finding A Way Out
The labyrinth, the maze of life, is hard to get out of. I start in the middle and try to find my way out. Most people would start from the outside, but I see no reason why someone would want to go into that labyrinth. I don’t want to find suffering; I want to run from it.
So I started from the middle. I circle my way out and soon have to stop. A dead end stands in my way. A secret that I have to keep comes out of this dead end. I’m still young though and don’t quite understand all of it. So I turn and run.
I run for days, for years. Life seems to be moving faster. I keep coming across dead ends. Two of them stand out most in my memory. The two of death. Loved ones are no longer going to be around. My heart is quickly falling apart, but I turn to run. Though as I turn I run into someone, a boy. He’s also dealing with a dead end, one that will change everything for him. We find happiness in each other. We make a promise to each other. We will help each other out of this labyrinth of suffering.
One more year and each of us has secrets we don’t share. Mine probably more severe and shocking. I’ve never told anyone that one secret that I’ve kept most of my life. I’m terrified that they’ll judge me. So, I keep it hidden, but as I do I find a new friend joining the boy and I. She’s a girl, our age, much like myself but so very different. I had thought for so long that I would be with them forever. But soon I drifted off for their relationship was growing fast. I find myself at another dead end. This one from a broken heart. I’m lost with no one to find me. I can’t stop thinking about the boy. And the girl, though my friend at one point, I began to hate.
Another year and people have come and gone out of my path, all of them heading for the middle of this endless labyrinth. I hear word of the friends I used to be so close to. Both are now headed in different ways. The girl is looking for the way to the center and the boy trying to fight his way around a broken heart and a dead end. I look up to the wall of my own dead end. I’ve been sitting here for too long, I tell myself.
I stand up then and before I can change my mind, I leave. I run until I can’t run any longer. I find that through this long run I myself have changed in some way. My legs collapse from under me but before I can hit the ground I feel someone’s arms catch me. I look up to see a man helping me up. The man is the boy who I used to know. He is older but still just as handsome as before. As our eyes meet I realized just how dumb I had been. I could have fought for him but instead I had run like a baby. He helped me stand and we began to walk together towards the end of the labyrinth. But as soon as I began to enjoy life a giant force pushed me down.
Another dead end had appeared out of nowhere. My future plans were changed right there. Once again another secret was thrust at me, a secret that I didn’t want to know or have to keep. I cried but not in front of anyone. I cried at night before I fell asleep. And at day I put on my mask, the mask of a girl who was cheerful, bubbly, and in love. Though the in love part of my mask was soon very real.
I kept the secrets. The two secrets that I never would tell a soul, drove me insane. I would have days where my mask worked perfectly to fool those around and sometimes even myself. Then there were days that giant holes penetrated my mask. These days I saw as bad. When I zoned out on those days he would ask me what was wrong; he always saw through me. I would always reply the same: “I’m just tired. I’m fine, really.”
So life went on like this. Though I waited for that one dead end day to come where I would I spill out my secrets to friends I couldn’t trust, it never did come. Months passed and we picked up a few more friends. None of them I told. Not even him for he would also judge. I knew I should have had more faith in him not to, but even I, who rarely judged harshly, would have judged if a friend, instead of myself, held these secrets.
Life continued to go on though. I few more months and we soon came across the girl we used to know. I tried not to show my jealousy when he talked to her. How he noticed her sometimes instead of me, made me mad. But like everything else, I hid it away behind my mask. I kept it away from my mind and heart for it almost never came up.
Suddenly, another dead end drops in front of me. This time the girl, the one who had once been my friend, was the cause. She was keeping important secrets from me, treating my friends badly, and then telling me things that I wanted to slap her for saying. I kept my mouth shut though. There was no point in taking off my mask. Instead I ran into his arms. He would comfort me and for a few days my mask didn’t help me hide the tears.
A few weeks later and the mask was working the same way it had always worked. It let me suffer on the inside. I saw old friends and new places but still the secrets pounded through my mind. The future held me scared as the awful day soon approached, dropping a giant dead end in front of all of us. This day would be the day my friends would all leave and start living their own lives, leaving me behind to start living my own. The day was filled with tears and happiness. Masks were put on but only a few stayed on. After the celebration I ran to him.
We talked and walked for hours. I walked with him under the stars and I knew that I was happy even behind my mask. We soon started talking about change and how it was coming fast. I soon began to cry behind my mask because I realized something that I had only once before. It had been spoken to me months before but I just now realized what it meant.
I had been asking myself the questions that would never help me. I had been asking these questions to myself almost everyday. The questions were these: Why was I going through this labyrinth of suffering? Why had I been given these secrets to keep? Why me? Now I saw the problems and faults in these questions. They would never help me get out of this labyrinth. They would only hold me where I was. I looked up to him then.
He looked at me with the same smile he always did, but I knew then that one day he would know my secrets. I kept them to myself that night, but I knew that one day, maybe soon, maybe in 20 years, they would have to come out. And as the stars and the moon shined down on us I knew what I would ask myself from then on. How would I get out of the labyrinth? What would push me through it when I didn’t want to move? Why would I keep going through it all? Who was I going to go through it for?
The questions ran through my mind right then but I didn’t answer them. I would have plenty of time to do so later. For now I would focus on that night. I would focus on why I would never let that mask find its way back to my face. I would never put it on again. I would cry when I need to cry and laugh when I needed to laugh. I stared at the man in front of me, he seemed to be my only true friend, and I knew one of the answers to one of my questions right then.
Who was I going to go through it for? The answer seemed so simple to me. I knew the chances of it still being the same person in however many years was very unlikely but for the moment, with the one person I cared most about in the world standing next to me, I could live through this labyrinth of life, not for me, but for love, for him. As I thought this over the dead end in front of us seemed to disappear, and we both kept walking towards the end of our labyrinth together. And to me, this was all that mattered.