I have a pretty lame middle name.
My parents both have middle names derived from their ancestors.
My younger sisters both have middle names after famous bible heroines.
Me? My middle name is Kevin. A name without meaning. There are no legendary figures named Kevin. My ancestory is El Salvadoran, are there are no Kevins in El Salvador. It is an exceedinly normal American name. I wondered why my name had the least amount of meaning and thought put into it. Maybe I had the least amount of meaning and thought put into myself.
Cursed with such an overbearingly average name, I truncated it. K is what my name appears on in official documation. Whenever anyone ask me what the K stands for, I say it stands for K. It it just a letter without meaning, a placeholder for a name that should have been, but never was.
I asked my mom why my middle name was Kevin. She told me she just liked the way the name sounded. It was the name of her roommate’s boyfriend, and apparently that was enough to dictate my life over. She never even looked up what Kevin meant. A true, loss, really.
Tying my own worth so something as absttract to the sound that refers to my entire existence, I shrank in stature. Who was I really? What was I trying to do?
“You are yourself before you are the son of any man.”
A famous line from a old videogame comes to front of me. In this, one of the dual-protagonists finds out they are are the child of the main antagonist of the story, and began freaking out. All they had fought for, all they had know, was compeltely hypocritical. They were a liar in human skin, and didn’t know what to do.
Just then, a hand appears on the character’s shoulder. It is the other protagonist, smiling proudly and authentically. Sharing the burden of the weight of the world, they understood the character’s emotions and more. They fought side by side after countless battles, won so much, and lost even more. But then, the other protgonist’s grip clenches the character’s shoulder tighter, stating these very words. You are yourself before you are the son of any man. With these simple words, the character stops freaking out. Destiny is not pre-ordained, it is not passed down from generation to generation, we have a choice. We have always had a choice. We were just too blind and caught up to see that it was always there.
This story resonated with me, and it feels like the larged tale of being El Salvadoran. As a developing nation exploited by others for profit, it seems like we too are a nation of people without idenity or purpose. In some senses, we just exist for the sake of existing. But instead of being handed down generations of tradition to uphold, we don’t. The more I hear about th home country, the more fracture our identity becomes. And that’s fascinating to me. It feel like, we are on the verge of becoming our true selves. And this story arc shines with me too. What does it mean, to be branded with the letter K, I am the one to choose my own meaning?
K can stand for for King, the ruler of the land. I had never imagined myself to be above otheres, much less view myself highly in any regard, but maybe, if I want to become a World-Class Magicia, I must be a king in my own right, too. A famous king from a land long gone famously spoke the following.
“A king… The king must be greedier than any other. He must laugh louder and rage harder. He must exemplify the extreme of all things, good and evil. That is why his retainers envy and adore him. And why the flames of aspiration, to be as the king is, can burn within his people. A king must live a life more vivid than any other and be figure for all to admire! The king is the one who collects the envy of all his heroes and stands as their guide! Therefore, the king is not alone! For his will equals that of all his followers combined. The inferiority you feel is actually the quality of a king. You may grumble a lot, but you know how small you are. And yet you still struggle to reach heights greater than you can imagine.””
K is for Kirito, the mythical hero of the virtual world, augmented world, and artifial intelligence world. In a world deemed fake by many, he found himself and his meaning time and time again through the interaction of all these worlds. Time and time again he was forced into defending the very nature of these worlds, and in the process he almost lost his life and even his soul. My favorite part is, he was no hero of legend in real life. He was an extraodinarily ordinary guy who was thrust into a role he never asked for. In these worlds, many perished, because they couldn’t come up to the task or gave up. He survied, because he found something greater than himself worth protecting.
K is for Kairos, the opportune moment for change. Here and now. It is a kind remember that instead of waiting for the moment to seize you, act first instead. Opportunities you never expect may finally start unraveling with you courageous decide to take the first step.
Today’s word count: 924 words
Total word count until today: 40,719 words
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