Reluctant Protagonist

fliegendes buch

Ever since my teenage years, I’ve cast myself as the reluctant protagonist of my life’s tangled narrative. I believed, perhaps naively, that by positioning myself as the central figure—often cast in the role of a tragic hero — I could somehow claim redemption in the grand arc of my poet’s soul, tethered reluctantly to this mortal frame.

All through my middle school, high school, and college years, I was ever the brooding antihero of a badly written stage drama. I was playing out the tragic soliloquy of a soul misunderstood. I made company with fellow misfits, our shared angst the only balm for the ache of our tired hearts and battered souls. We wore our wounds like badges of honor, priding ourselves in our ability to face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a raised eyebrow and a wry smile. Our shared disillusionment was the only comfort for our weary hearts and souls.

I raged against the dying light, my life playing out like an epic poem of daily struggles with absurdity and expectations. Yet, as time passed, the veil of tragedy began to lift. Peeking through the fabric of self-pity, I glimpsed the truth: I wasn’t a character in a novel, nor the tragic hero of some grandiose saga. I was but a drifting soul, seeking an anchor in the tumultuous waves of life.

As life’s narrative would have it, redemption seemed to arrive in the nick of time, just as a skilled writer would script a satisfying climax. My redemption was a lifeline thrown to me by the universe itself. As if by divine intervention, I stumbled upon a love so profound, so luminous, that it illuminated the darkest recesses of my darkened heart. This love served as a celestial compass, guiding me out of my despair, leading me to the shores of a new beginning.

Now, whenever I am fortunate enough to witness a brilliant Vermont sunset, painting the sky in gold and crimson, I can’t help but feel myself bathed in these transformative colors. Each morning, I feel a sense of gratitude, a quiet contentment that belies the storms that once raged within me. The reluctant protagonist finally emerged, not as a tragic hero, but as a humble traveler. I’m but a pragmatic seeker of truth in a world where the line between fiction and reality has blurred.

Indeed, redemption is not found in the pages of a book, nor is it written in the stars. It’s a pilgrimage to a brave new world. Standing on the threshold of these new frontiers, I realize that I have discovered my quote-unquote happy ending. I am, and always have been, the author of my own story. So are you.

~ Amelia Desertsong

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

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