Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Highs and Lows

I knew it wouldn’t be handed to me.  Pushing and shoving your way to a better future is strenuous and damn near impossible, and sometimes it is hard to find the strength to keep your strained fingers from sliding off the final rung.  Senior year, the culmination of a lifetime of work and dreams, has so far been a strange roller coaster of peaks so high that I nearly hit my head on the clouds to lows to deep that  my stomach melts onto the seat.  Despite this stress, pressure and responsibility that I have added to my plate I have never felt more alive.  A kid from some small farm town in the middle of nowhere, raised by a single mother has traveled the world, become the president of an organization, serves on student government and is one year away from graduation. 
What should be a joyous year in which I consummate my four years of hard work with one strut across the stage is one of panic; what exactly should I do with the rest of my life?  Sometimes I curse my work ethic and ambitions.  Life seems so much easier to be blown by the wind and care not for where I end up, but unfortunately for me I live with purpose.  I live each day motivated by the fact that I am merely scratching the surface of my potential, and due to this ambition I am also cursed with being a perfectionist.  Instead of laying back and enjoying my achievements I tirelessly trudge forward, for fear that the doors which are opean all around me may suddenly slam shut. 
Three summers ago I learned the dark reality of this cruel world.  I worked in a dirty, humid tomato packing plant in my home town and suffered a work injury to my arm which nearly ripped it off.  As my hand lay caught in the conveyer belt, skin ripping apart slowly,  I felt the first pang of terror I had ever felt in my life.  I have been scared before, but this was the unique fear that comes with knowing that this is a life I could easily expect should I piss away my academic opportunities.  It is a cruel, cold world out there, and it has no time for dreamers or the timid.  Life favors those who make their dreams a reality; the movers and shakers.  Although the stress and pressure of changing three generations of poverty in my family bears down on my chest like a lead anchor, I must set the example.  Life is not for the timid