"There Are Never Absolutes"

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Beep.

Beeep. My mind begrudgingly detached itself from the safe nothingness of the subconscious, wondering, as any sane entity would, why it was waking up at 6:00 on a crisp Friday morning. A few confusing seconds later, as usual, I remembered: I needed this time for leisure reading. Relocating myself to the balcony, I opened The Art of War to page 89. “Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories,” teaches Sun Tzu. As the first rays of the day slowly warmed Formosa, a disturbing thought struck me. How was I supposed to get through life’s thousand battles without knowing myself?

My life has always been a mélange of seemingly discordant interests; and at that moment, I was at a crossroads of different cultural identities. Thus, through the subtle chaos of self-discovery, I tried to make sense of my multiple facets by adhering to labels. I was the history zealot, the extrovert, the international student. Little did I know that by accepting these labels, I was rendering the other undefinable parts of myself null and void. However, recently I have begun to scratch the surface of the labels – tentatively, that is – and what I’m finding beneath is surprisingly empowering.

I have a profound passion for history...

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