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I May Fall: RWBY and Isolation} ?> At times I fall apart. Sometimes I feel so beat down by life I just want to curl up in a ball and cry “a million tears.” Just like the lyrics from the RWBY soundtrack (“I May Fall,” sung by Casey Lee Williams), the “skies rain blood”, “the moon is gone,” and the “sun won’t rise.” Creatures of darkness seem to triumph in my life, taking the form of doubt, worry, and fear; my shields are shattered in the fight against them. Sometimes they all seem to beat me down and I “succumb to fear.” I feel like “help won’t arrive” to mend a problem that seems unfixable.
Ruby, Yang, Blake, and Weiss reach many low points during their adventures. When Beacon Academy is destroyed, instead of leaning on each other, the girls separate. Yang loses her arm, Weiss’s father forces her to return to a toxic family life, Blake runs back to her home, and Ruby travels with another team, feeling shunned by her sister. Team RWBY has spent three seasons nigh inseparable, doing everything together. They’d survived many rough times, but this one finally broke the camel’s back.
When we lose our faith and forsake our friends, the song lyrics say. Funny how those two actions can go hand in hand.
Instead of coming together, team RWBY races apart. Yang suffers from depression because of the loss of her arm. She feels so down that she even rejects a very expensive replacement her father found for her. Blake rejects help from Sun as he tries to be there for her as she adjusts to being with her family again and feeling ashamed about the loss of Beacon.
I know I’ve reached low points where I didn’t want to accept help from others. I deemed myself unfixable and just wanted to retreat into myself. I thought, “They wouldn’t understand. They can’t help me. This is just too bad to talk about with anyone. My friends wouldn’t like me anymore.”
During times like this, some part of me thinks isolation is the right course of action, even though it always makes things worse. I’ve spent weeks or even months retreating into loneliness. A part of me even thinks that by keeping what’s bothering me from my friends I’m shielding them from hurt. When Blake gives that excuse to Sun, he says:
“You think you’re being selfless, but you’re not. You can make your own choices, sure, but you don’t get to make ours. When your friends fight for you, it’s because we want to. So stop pushing us out. That hurts more than anything the bad guys could ever do to us.”
Sometimes I feel like my strength doesn’t matter to other people. Who cares if I give up on the things I care about? Who cares if I just hide away from all of my problems? Why should I make the effort to recover from loss, from rejection, from the death of a loved one, from pain? But words like Ruby’s remind me why I can’t:
“We’ve all lost something. And I’ve seen what loss can do to people. But if we gave up every time we lost, then we’d never be able to move forward. We’d never have a chance to see all of the beautiful things the future may have waiting for us. We’d never have the strength to change, whether it’s ourselves or the world around us. And we’d never be there one day for people who may be lost without us.”
With others by my side, a problem can feel less scary. If I let it stew in my mind, it feels worse than it actually is. My thoughts get carried away, but with help from others, beating the grimms in my life is a much less daunting task.
When we stand with friends and we won’t retreat, as we stare down death, then the taste is sweet.
I’m fortunate to have people in my life like Yang’s dad and Sun who are patient with me through my difficult times. I need my friends, especially in the bad times, like how Ruby, Yang, Weiss, and Blake need each other. Alone I’m weak, but with others’ support, I’m strong. They give me words of encouragement when I need them. They’re always there for me even when I get low. I just need the courage to grab their hands when they’re offered to me.