A daring quest for knowledge in order to accomplish a dream
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously, but the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” Kurt Vonnegut, the author of this quote, just like every author attempts, is to put words on paper to shape a world, it is my imagination that takes those words and makes them real in relation to my own experiences. Everyone does this, associates things in order to better understand. Each of our realities is shaped by our experiences and every experience is unique. What has led me to be where and who I am today is because of a vast web of circumstances I have encountered, both enjoyable and difficult. Through every situation, I have found a little bit more about myself each time. That’s how life works I believe, we are thrown the most unexpected conditions so that we can attempt to solve it in different ways, if it works then we move on, and if it doesn’t then we keep trying. In the end of each of our existences we have to come to terms with everything we have done in our lives, I simply want what I do to be remembered, as do many others, we all want to feel important in some way, otherwise what would be the meaning of it all? I want to be remembered for helping others, for spreading love and compassion when so many are afraid to do so.
Growing up in a small town, where everyone knows each other was difficult for me because I strove so hard to blend in, but in the end I just stood out. It isn’t easy being different; especially when very few will try and understand or accept it. I always did rise to challenges however, it wasn’t easy to overcome the insecurities I developed, but I’m glad I never gave up. I eventually moved on, but the next place I encountered wasn’t very different. I came to realize that my peers that saw and disliked me without even having any idea who I truly was, were simply just afraid. Perhaps it was jealousy, but the point is, they all saw something in me that made them want to test the waters, find my weaknesses and attempt to twist those weaknesses to make me frail. Their mission failed, I realized those weaknesses and turned them into strengths. There are bullies everywhere; we each encounter one at some point in our lives; in school, the workplace, even in our own families. Not everyone can manipulate the situation to make it positive, but somehow I found a way, and I moved on without becoming negative or malicious like them.
Eventually I came to live in a city with a population of around eighty thousand people. The culture was incredible, I was blown away. This city is called Santa Fe, New Mexico, famous in its own right. The previous place I called home was merely a tenth of the population of Santa Fe, it was certainly something new to behold. Excitement is the only word that can most simply explain how I felt about moving to such a place. However, I had many misconceptions of what this place was. Everyone I had talked to about this place made it seem like a fairy tale, a place so unreal and beautiful that no one ever wants to leave. Perhaps it’s just that no one can escape, due to the mounting poverty of half the population. I found Santa Fe to be just as beautiful as described, with mountains surrounding the city, and the people just as wonderful as the scenery. It seemed almost surreal. Even though most of the people had very little in terms of material possessions, they all seemed to be so wealthy and the happiness that seemed to flow from everyone created the atmosphere of genuine compassion and contentment that settled upon the humble city. This place is where I truly discovered how to see the uniqueness of each individual. Everyone stood out. Every individual I encountered at first was so vibrant and full of life. Then as I grew older I came to see the reality that was hidden behind a curtain, shading my childish eyes from the harshness of the rest of the world. I began to hear about murders, drugs and corruption. My world was turned upside down. I met people that encouraged partying and drug use. Where were the boundaries that I had so carefully laid before my feet? Everything seemed so hazy, confusion and unrest began to set in. Where was anyone to tell me right from wrong? It was up to me to decide my fate, and my future.
When parents are too busy with their own lives to be a part of their children’s, what happens? Those children create their own rules, make their own decisions and determine what, who and how they want to be. Once someone has absolute freedom, or so they believe, they will never allow it to be taken; from that moment on they are the ones in control of their lives. How quickly it can be taken away though is not something that every child will ponder. Luckily, I didn’t have a child-like mentality any longer, I wanted to be mature, make the right decisions. Even though my parents hardly tried to be present in my life, I did my best to learn from the guidance I was given when I did receive it. I learned very important lessons early in life, which I am thankful for now. I learned how to be strong, never give up and that I can accomplish anything I truly want. There are no limits, only the ones that you create for yourself. I have dreams that some say can never be accomplished, but that won’t stop me from trying anyway.
I am here today to continue to learn, I am on a quest for knowledge and knowledge is power. There is infinite knowledge in the universe, little known and much to be discovered. Everyone has to take steps in order to get where they want, and college is one of the many steps on my way to accomplishment. Each journey I have been on thus far has led me to where I am today. I had to take steps to learn what I needed to know in order to reach this point in my life, and I feel ready to be here. I have a dream that one day the world will be filled with happiness, compassion and hope. I want to spread my wisdom to others, just as I want others to continue to teach me, challenge me and help me to become a better person. Perhaps if someone is unafraid to be open and compassionate, others will follow. There are so many possibilities, I prefer to think optimistically.