Clarity

October 16, 2011
Question: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

My fingertips brushed softly against the rustic railings of Trinity College; I could almost feel the knowledge seeping through the bars as I was reminded of a James Joyce story, Dubliners. Yet, above me the sun beat down intently, almost blinding my senses into a vague, foggy, perception of my surroundings. I looked left… then right… but only to find myself perplexed by the unfamiliarity of a foreign city; Dublin, Ireland.

At this moment in time, my friend Molly and I had just diverted from our peers and teacher, Mr. Galligan, who had accompanied us on the Europe Trip 2011. We had been sent off in groups to explore Dublin for four hours, and to immerse ourselves into the culture, whether it was through sightseeing or eating at an Irish cafe. However, embarking upon this journey, I soon realized that the various streets of Dublin had become an enigma beyond my comprehension. Each street mimicked the other, and the only landmark I could recall was the large railings that encompassed Trinity College.

Our stomachs grumbled and gurgled ferociously as they longed for some morsel of food to fulfill our hunger craving. Yet, our quest for an Irish restaurant was deterred, as we were grappled by disorientation. Determined as I was, I soon traced every street in the central area of Dublin, and examined the stores and streets signs as I scoured the area. Then, to my amazement, the area became accustomed to my senses, and clarity began to pervade my mind. Ah, blissful delight. I had become an expert at navigating myself around the streets of Dublin. Finally, Molly and I sat down at a small café to eat a traditional Irish wrap that I savored, for it was well earned.

This moment in Dublin will always remind me that in times of confusion it is always possible to work relentlessly and gain a better understanding. As found in the streets of Dublin, being lost can actually create a sense of clarity, a lesson that infiltrates my everyday routine. Each day that I am confronted with an arduous task, feeling lost and confused, I remember that with practice and determination, anything is within reach. Whether it is struggling to decipher an AP calculus question in class, or attempting a rigorous routine in cheerleading, I have found that challenges can be conquered. This life lesson acquired in Dublin will continue to remind me to never give up on any occasion, especially when the odds of succeeding seem low. Life is not only about taking risks, but taking every opportunity presented to you, and working at it with perseverance. College is now that next challenge I am ready to confidently confront with ambition and the ability to triumph over any obstacle.

James Joyce claimed that to love Dublin you have to leave it. However, I have learned that to love Dublin (and life) you simply need to navigate it. I feel that some of that knowledge gained in Dublin truly must have rubbed off on me, as my fingertips brushed softly against the rustic railings of Trinity College.





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