01 December 2014

Because I believe

One of the themes of my life is perseverance. I spoke about this in an earlier post, and the concept of continuing forward, regardless of the odds or the difficulties encountered, seems to be integral to my character. I've been reflecting on it as I craft essays for my law school applications. What is it that drives me onward?

I think it is simply that I have an unyielding hope - I believe that what is not right today can be made better tomorrow. That despair is not a permanent condition and that happiness is internal and a decision made by one's mind and heart. Life can be hard and painful and ugly; I have experienced it and had my soul crumpled under the weight of its brutality. I have shivered in the bitter chill of fear, but yet determined not to give in nor show my terror. 

A distinct memory: as a child, sitting in the back seat of an old car, driving to an unremembered location, with tears streaming down my face, but without recourse to words to express them, I squinted at the streetlights. As I did, they turned into beams of bright light, which, with a tilt of my head, twinkled to and fro, and I felt better. I somehow knew that if I could make that cold moment warm, that if I could make those sterile lights come to life in a happy dance just by crinkling my eyelids, I would be alright and I would make it through. 

I shouldn't be here, and not just because of my injuries. My childhood should have sent me down a path to a seedy side of town, corrupted me and inured me against the idea of sunshine, but I knew that where I was and what was happening to me wasn't the way it was "supposed" to be, that children weren't supposed to go through what I was going through and so there had to be something more, something better. I watched others and took what was good and positive in their worlds and learned how to make it a part of mine. I improvised, I adapted and often, tried to fit into what seemed to be "right", even though I often didn't truly understand why it was right. 

I take umbrage at injustice, at brutality and willful ignorance. I am angered by those who take no charge of their own lives, no responsibility for the way they live and those who blame others for their mistakes and misfortunes. I believe we all could use a helping hand, but I also think that it is up to us to become what we think we deserve to be, no one can bestow it upon us. I believe a fractured body can be restored by a willful mind, sweat, patience, and a little bit of aches and pains.

I don't always know what is coming next and do not believe I am an idealist, but rather a hopeful pragmatist and strident in my belief that good exists everywhere, just as does evil. I believe it takes more courage to see and be open to all of life's experiences and to still care than almost anything in the world. I believe we sometimes have to say good-bye before we can say hello again. I believe in tomorrow. I still believe in true love.

I know what is real and I believe in what is possible and I feel like I have an obligation to try and bring some of that hope into fruition.

I believe in second chances; I also believe it is up to each us to take that chance, to ask for it, if need be, and to make it count. And when we're temporarily in a bad place, we can always crinkle up our eyes and make the lights sparkle. 
Inside Castello Maniace, built between 1232-1240,
in Siracusa, Sicily ( Mar 2009)

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