What's Your Cheese? | Teen Ink

What's Your Cheese? MAG

January 6, 2017
By PicturesqueHeart GOLD, Ashburn, Virginia
PicturesqueHeart GOLD, Ashburn, Virginia
11 articles 1 photo 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't close the blast doors to your heart. ❤️

The book Who Moved My Cheese? tells the story of how four little creatures, creatures that each represent a different part of a person’s personality, achieve their goal: to find the cheese. It isn’t a walk in the park; they have to search the maze of life in order to reach it, and they never know if it’s going to move or not. At some point, readers connect this concept to their own life and realize: cheese is my life goal, and the little creatures in the maze represent my emotions and actions. It sounds simple enough, but it is life-changing once you realize the depth of this book.

It was just a typical day in high school business class. After reading the introduction to Who Moved My Cheese? we quietly took time to think about our life goals. When we discussed them as a group, many of my classmates gave delightfully unique goals: to be a doctor, to learn code, to be a news anchor, to start a business, and so on. I was enjoying the ideas and goals that were being shared, and then my friend asked me, “What’s your cheese?” In other words, what’s your life goal.

I was about to respond with the same goals I had told myself for years: to be a high-level doctor or open my own business. The words were on the tip of my tongue when I stopped and closed my mouth. For the first time in six years, I rethought my goals. I stopped to think about what I was doing and how I was getting there. And then I realized the goals I told everyone were my dream were just a false dream. Somewhere inside of me, a part of me knew that my real goal was waiting, and I needed to focus on that. Because what would happen once I became a doctor or the owner of a company? What would I do then? Where could I go from there? I turned away from my friend and thought in blissful silence.

My entire life has been a struggle between different parts of me. While most kids have a childhood with the same friends and a stable family, we moved from Michigan to Virginia when I was six because of my father’s new job. I remember trying to make friends, but no one would talk to me because I was new and “weird.” I was constantly being left out of clubs, play dates, even teams because of my behavior around others. If I did make friends, they would move away or I found out that they weren’t the right crowd to hang out with. It was dull, boring, gray every day. I yearned for the day my social struggles would end. But they never did.

They grew. It got to the point where my classmates lied and cheated to try to make my grades go down. They were constantly yelling at me and blaming trivial accidents on me. I was forced to work on projects with them, since they were somehow always in my classes. If something happened to the computer on the other side of the room, they would blame me. If my parents weren’t in earshot, they would scold me. It got to the point where they had almost total control over me and my actions. Until I stopped.

The day I was able to fight back and prove that they were wrong is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. I finally stood up to them and told them to beat it. When my classmates’ grades dropped, I would excel, with a perfect score every time. I felt invincible. With my words and intellect, I made them respect me and accept what they had done wrong. I proved I was stronger.
Sometimes I wonder if my social troubles will persist for the rest of my life. Maybe I am destined to have people disrespect me, as if I am too stupid to understand. But I won’t let it get to me. I will rise above the rest, to the top.

I paused in my thought, realizing I had found my cheese: to rise above the rest. Those words can be interpreted in so many ways and lead down so many paths, but they all lead to one goal – rising above the rest. I looked my friend squarely in the eye and told her: “My only goal is to reach the top, no matter what the odds, expectations, or hurdles. I’ll be up there, watching my competitors from above.”

And that goal is true: I will work to be above the rest. And when the day comes that I reach the top of the world, that’s when I will be free. That’s when I will prove the naysayers wrong.

So I ask you, reader, the same important question: What is your aim for your life? What is your goal? What is your cheese?

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