There’s this Regina Spektor song I’ve loved since high school titled Hero. I mean the entire album is phenomenal; my love life forever a mix of Samson and On The Radio. Maybe even a little bit of Hotel Song if I’m being honest.
But it’s Hero’s repetition that so accurately represents the internal battle inside all of us as we try to make our way through this broken world. The melancholy piano notes not at all encouraging, but honest and vulnerable.
I’m the hero of the story I don’t need to be saved; It’s all right it’s all right it’s all right it’s all right… it’s all right. It’s all right.
To be a hero doesn’t mean it’s all hunky-dory. In fact if you’re trying to make even a smidgen of a difference in this world, it usually makes everything all the more difficult considering you don’t have the luxury of blissful ignorance.
Even more metaphorical is how smoothly Hero blends into the next track, Bartender.
Come on bartender, won’t you be more tender…I ate all your peanuts return me to sender; Love will be the death of me, love is so fickle it starts with a flood and ends with a trickle.
Because here’s the thing, we need to be our own hero, our own protagonist. There’s so much complexity in this world, and sometimes the things we rely on for strength, falter.
Case in point, our ever evolving, imperfect loved ones. Who may or may not be the reason we drink.
Recently I was informed, once again, how blasphemous we millennials are for living like main characters.
I’m sorry? What? You’re not the main character in your life? Then who are you? Who is?
To utter such a sentiment is to say that each person’s story, including your own, is unworthy of a plot line. I so strongly disagree with this – your trials, tribulations, climaxes, cliff hangers – are all so entirely intimate and important. The details compiling your own personal book, regardless if it’s considered a best seller.
And the best part is, you might never know the impact your chronicle will have on the world; it could come a decade from now, but that doesn’t make it any less important. It could be a solitary chapter, but it’s so stinkin’ important nonetheless.
So here’s my argument for why you need to be the hero, the main character the protagonist in your own story, despite what others may tell you.
(They’re only a secondary character anyways.. jk jk. Kinda)
1. First off, if you’re not the protagonist then who the heck are you? The villain? The sidekick? The victim? The perpetrator? The misunderstood? …why?
2. You have absolutely zero control over anything.. except how you respond to life. Don’t rob yourself of this opportunity. Respond like a protagonist.
3. Ultimately, you need to be your own pillar of strength.
4. Look – God’s will and Jesus’s heart are my priority and guide. My life is Theirs. But in order to turn my life over to Them, I must actually go out and live one.
5. Also, I am completely unable to place God’s will as a first person narrator in my head. Joan of Arc had it easy in that regard (too soon?). So until then, I remain the protagonist of this story; and I count my lucky stars that I get to have these wonderful Ones as my guide while I embark upon the journey.
Misappropriated desire for validation is a huge first world problem. Why propagate it and call yourself virtuous?
You need it. Accept it. Validate yourself.
8. Be a freakin’ super hero. Be a princess. Regardless, be a primary character. Primary characters have an effect on the world around them.
9. Secondary characters make mistakes. Primary charterers learn, evolve, grow.
10. If we are all secondary characters, then who’s going to change the world? Trump? Scuuurd.
12. Even if you don’t feel like the main character, fake it until you make it. Secondary characters who live as though they are the main charecters, self-fulfill this prophecy. Summer Roberts in The OC was never intended to stick around and now she’s a cult favorite. Marissa Cooper straight up died, in part due to her passive, victimized nature.
If that’s not a straight up fact I don’t know what is.
13. People are going to tell you you’re doing it wrong regardless, but if you’re the protagonist you can dismiss these statements as mere secondary sentiments intended to help shape your plot.
14. Because what is life if not a well-developed and simultaneously messy plot line? It’s all a lot easier to metabolize if you look at it as one great adventure.
15. Because every time I do something even more stupid than I thought possible I chalk it up to a new climax in the book of my life. Seriously.
But like shoot for a water-downed Orange is The New Black or Jessica Jones.. def not House of Cards.
17. Value yourself enough to recognize that you deserve to be a main character the same as good ol’ HP**. Your series too is filled with falsified villains, distorted realities, magic, love, physical and metaphorical ascendence, struggle, opportunity, competition, happiness, friendship, family, maybe a little Quiddich who knows.
So I encourage you, wake up tomorrow and look at your life through the filter of the protagonist. You’re the hero of your story.
And as Regina so sweetly sings:
This is how it works, you peer inside yourself, you take the things you like, and try to love the things you took; And then you take that love you made, and stick it into someone else’s heart, pumping someone else’s blood.
(And walking arm in arm, you hope it don’t get harmed, but even if it does, you’ll just do it all again.)
So peer inside yourself, love the things you find, and then stick that love all over.
*Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
**Harry Potter. Duh.