I just finished Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe–a book recommended to me by Miti. It was cathartic and amazing and thoughtful. And it put into words what I believe everyone struggles with: accepting yourself.

Aristotle, who goes by Ari, has an internal battle throughout the course of the story. No spoilers, but when he finally comes to a conclusion after his struggle, life suddenly gets amazing.

We have no control over what family we are born into, what era we have been thrown into, or where we begin our journeys. It’s kind of scary. We just pop out onto Planet Earth and BAM, YOU’RE A LIVING CREATURE, CONGRATS! Freaky stuff, man. It can be hard to accept that alone.

But humans like to get complicated, which is something I enjoy exploring. Stories, particularly people stories, fascinate me. They remind me that we all struggle and face challenges. Some of my challenges have included shame for dating who I like, insecurities with my body, and just getting anxious easily (making me feel socially inadequate). I have conquered these things. Some of them more recently. And it feels amazing. I have the whole world in my hands now, and I can live unapologetically.

Acceptance is a powerful tool. It opens so many doors, and just makes life so much more worth living. Ari learned that, too. And his story put it perfectly into words: “We all fight our own private wars.” It is up to each of us to look at the battle, release our strength, and let not just the world, but ourselves, see who we really are.


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