Sunday 11 August 2013

S5.175 - Being Parabola

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Things can always get worse...

I hear singing as I fall off the cliff. Is that me? Time collapses; seconds have passed, it feels like two weeks. I shift myself back into standard form.

It's said that, before death, your life will flash before your eyes. Yet I don't see Menaechmus or Apollonius or any of the greats. Perhaps this is because I'm a parabola who doesn't see herself as a conic? That's ParaB's job now. My job is merely to be studied by students who hate me, or who find me boring, as ViHart has said. And to model falling objects, though when you extend to free fall, you would merely use an orbital path. Oh, and I think I'm destined to be forever mixed up with exponential growth.

In short, my life is a lie.

Maybe that's why I don't get to see it.

What I get instead is everything being pulled into focus. Hey, I do have one of those, whether it's acknowledged or not! This lets me see how I have been letting others dictate not merely who I am, and the way I am to be taught, but ultimately, how I even feel about myself. Oh, they weren't always doing it consciously. But here's the thing.

When you accept the interpretations of others, it's as if you have simultaneously decided that you are powerless to refute them.

As a parabola, it made me turn on myself. Hurt myself. I thought that, if I could dislike myself too, I'd have something in common with those who hated me... which might make them like me after all. But that doesn't make much sense, does it?

It's clearer inside of me, who I will always be, here at the core of my heart. Feels like I'm singing, the dark still surrounding me, to do it all over again.

Except you can't do it over again if you're dead.

Every choice that I make, changes the course I take, won't be afraid, when I make mistakes. Do it all over again and again... come to the end... the sum of my dreams is all I ever wanted to be...

The trick with me, of course, is that even though my life feels real enough, in some sense, my very existence is all theoretical. I differ from you there.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this. The way we choose to see ourselves, it limits who we can be. Step outside the box, and you might learn something. Because we are more capable than we imagine. Because we all have it in us to do things we've never done before. Because sometimes, we can surprise even ourselves.

Here I am. This is me. Who am I? Wait and see...

I grab at the bangs next to my face and pull. My bunny ears flip up, finally minimizing my depression, and then they stretch out, almost horizontally, to match an exceedingly small stretch factor. Then they spin. Spin, until the lifting of my body can match the lifting of my spirits, allowing me to use my hairband as a propeller.

Before I can hit the ground, I'm taking off, back up into the air.
...yet "per ardua ad astra"!



  1. This one was tough to write. The italicized paragraph, by the way, is a direct quote from an episode of "Being Erica". Good series. I actually created the initial TV Tropes page when I saw it didn't have one:

    The tag "per ardua ad astra" is latin, and the motto of the British Royal Air Force. My parabola was, I think, always destined to fly, though I'd be lying if I said 'Inspector Gadget' never came to mind as I was doing the illustration.

    As always, there are mathematical links within the story up there too, but my suspicion is that people don't click on those...

  2. I think this is very clever.

    1. Thank you! It happens every so often. I appreciate the comment!