Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Punishment For Hard Work

    I think that life is conspiring to train me for some arduous ordeal. Just when I think I have fought my way through the worst of it, and that I am finally, finally reaching a point where life will be easier, calmer, the battle won, peace and love to the victor, I am hit with the the equivalent of an IED. I find it truly amazing, horrifically amazing, that every time I see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is snatched away. I know I am strong, and will get through this, as I have managed to get through all past travails. But god damn it, I am so fucking tired of having to "get through it" time and time again. Game over! I don't want to play anymore. I don't want to play when the rules are constantly shifting. But this is no game, this is my reality, my life, and it is not fun. Not fun at all.
    Every time I get knocked down, blasted, wounded, I try to think of a new approach, a new battle plan, a different strategy. Because obviously, what I am doing is wrong, or I wouldn't keep getting beaten down so badly. I try to lead a good life, I am giving, forgiving, loving, caring. I work hard, damned hard, to make my life be the life of my dreams. I give of myself, to family, friends, and strangers. I am poor, but pay my bills, not expecting a handout. I care for the weak and injured. So honestly, what the hell is wrong with the gods of this world that I must be toyed with, taunted, shown glorious possibilities only to have them snatched away the moment I think I can finally relax just a bit? Seriously, what the hell?
    I work so hard, to the point of exhaustion, trying to make a better life for myself. I joined the fire department so I can give back to the world, fulfill a destiny I have long known was mine. Does this earn me any bonus points? No. I fight to make a good life for myself, work to exhaustion, try to improve my conditions, and this leaves so little time. I feel I am living on a treadmill with the speed set just a little too high, so I can barely keep from falling, but if I run hard enough I can just manage to keep pace. I fought long and hard to get a new job with the potential for more money, enough to pay the bills with just a little left over, but the days are long. I work long and hard for my life, and am proud that I do, but it seems this is a failing in the game with changing rules. I put in long hours in firefighter academy, studying, training, fighting to be the best I can possibly be, and graduated at the top of my class. I set goals, high standards for myself, am always reaching for the stars, striving to improve, maybe this is also a failing in this game with changing rules.
    I was once told that I have "a hero's heart," and maybe this is my fatal flaw. I give of myself, squeeze out time from an already hectic life to train, learn, improve myself. This does not lead to a comfortable, easy life. It does not lead to a life of leisure. Instead what it has led me to, besides a satisfying sense of self, is a return to a solitary life. Once again, I find myself alone. Maybe a hero is destined to a lonely life? But I am no hero, I am just me, weary, weepy, alone and lonely.
    Whoever said, "Hard work is its own reward," was very likely either an idiot, or a hermit. The reward for hard work is more hard work, rejection, exhaustion, and strife. I must be a glutton for punishment though, because now I will work harder for the life I know I deserve, because I sure don't deserve a kick in the teeth.

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