What is your biggest fear?
“That I’ll lose the life I’ve been launched into- that it’ll all go away. I read one time that 99.8% of the world dies in the same social class they were born into. I don’t see why this wouldn’t happen to me. It’s a real driving force behind my writing: I fear that one day I’ll wake up and no longer be able to write. I don’t even know how I was able to do it in the first place. Everything changed so fast for me that it could obviously change back just as quickly, you know?” -Anon. Writer
Some people go through experiences that forever change who they are. Within these experiences though, something magical can happen. An opportunity could ignite, and a passion could be born. Many fail to notice that part.
Experiences don’t define a person, they help mold someone into the potential they never thought possible. So how do you know which opportunities to embrace? And could you do it alone if you didn’t have the help of another person?
I know I would. I would take that opportunity and I would run as far away with it as I could. It would be mine, and I would have already given it a name that would forever be tied to my subconscious. Sometimes that’s my problem; my opportunities are endless, because if I can’t find one, I create one. I want a future that I can create, and be held accountable for. I want the future to be mine, and that’s all I have ever known.
It all started in fifth grade when I was publically humiliated by my teacher for a piece of writing that I worked so hard on. I remember it vividly. It was a Friday, and the day our teacher Mr. Redmond would put up the best book reports written by the students, but unfortunately for me, he also put up the worst.
I sat and waited with anticipation to see if I made the good book report example, I just knew I had put everything I had into writing it. Then there it was the first one up, my book report on “Charlie the Caterpillar” that took me the whole week to work on; and I knew it was bad. All I saw was red, and complete paragraphs with ‘x’s through them. My teacher pointed out every problem I had with writing, and told the kids not to do what I had done. My name was whited out, but my handwriting was unmistakable, as I was also labeled “the only girl in the class with boy handwriting,” so everyone knew anyway. It was mortifying and that was all I needed.
I never wanted to feel that way again so I dedicated myself to learning and mastering the subject. English, reading, and writing from fifth grade on consumed me. The pencil was my new best friend and I would travel with one wherever I would go. I wrote down songs, stories, and never ending notes to my friends. It was in 6th grade when I found out my English teacher had the same birthday as me, and to my 11-year-old self, that meant fate. I would forever be a writer and I knew it.
So when do you decide that the opportunity you have chosen is the right one, or the wrong one?
The right one is going to feel wrong, but it will build a passion inside of you like you have never felt before. It’s that one thing you have been humiliated for, been brought down by, and have been told constantly it would never happen. It’s that opportunity that you are so afraid of losing, that without it you wouldn’t be the same. I wish I could say it was easier to come by, but it’s not. I’ve learned that happiness comes from passion, stemming from opportunities born through life changing experiences. Embrace these experiences, and capture the opportunity, and don’t be afraid to stop.
Charlie the Caterpillar
“Charlie the Caterpillar didn’t know he was ugly until a bunch of people told him he was. Some rabbits playing tennis, monkey’s playing cards and mice playing miniature golf all told him he couldn’t play with them because he was an ugly caterpillar. If enough people tell you something, you start to believe it’s true. Charlie actually started to feel ugly and figured the rabbits, monkeys and mice were probably right after all.
So, Charlie went like this and he went like that and spun himself into a nice warm cocoon and slept most of two seasons away. Somehow he knew that it was time to wake up. It was springtime, flowers were blooming and birds were having a party up in the sky. When Charlie stretched and came out of his hiding place, he was amazed to find that he had changed into a beautiful butterfly with beautiful butterfly wings. Everyone who wouldn’t play with him when he was an ugly caterpillar now begged him to play with them.”