If Only I Could... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As my physics teacher begins a lecture on how to measure objects with the appropriate units in the metric system, my eyes turn toward the waving trees outside as I ponder the great unknown vacuum that is my future; and I begin to imagine: if only I could ...

If only I could be accepted to the college of my choice! I would get a degree in zoology or marine biology, and set off to explore the world. For as fascinating as Long Island is, there are millions of other exotic locales around the world. At this moment a small furry creature scurries in the underbrush in Australia; in the cool, deep waters of the Pacific a smooth, white shark with dilating eyes glides, sniffing the water for blood; and some giraffe in Africa is stretching his long neck to the highest branch of a tree for his dinner. The possibilities of such a career in zoology are amazing! And yet, as my parents would see it, such a career would not be very practical. I can already picture my mother saying, "What kind of husband will you find crawling around the jungle? If it were up to her, my college major would be Marrying A Doctor. And so I must put aside my thirst for knowledge about the animal world and muse on some other career ...

If only I could become a brilliant software designer! True, it does not have quite the same element of danger or adventure I might prefer in a career, but I think I could work such a job to my advantage. I could create the software used world-wide in the upcoming century. That's right, computer nerds all across the country would herald me as Billamena Gates. Certainly being a professional billionaire is a practical profession, even in my parents' eyes, as they would be directly affected by its rewards themselves! And yet, the possibility of such a career does not seem at all likely, as I have not shown at this time any propensity for becoming a computer genius. I suppose I could join the computer or math club at my school ... and yet ... I just don't think I'm too eager to join that particular social environment.

And if only I had practiced my violin night and day, I could have become a world-renowned virtuoso! Surely, my six years of violin lessons have not been for naught. It will be known worldwide that I play as if my very heart were attached to the violin, my soul revealed as my bow glided across the strings. I would play for the Queen of England, the President of the United States, the Emperor of Japan! I would travel over vast oceans, leaving my adoring audiences clamoring for encores, begging for more concertos to bring tears to their eyes. I would give my mother a front seat ticket for each recital, and she would no longer force me, her Virtuoso Violinist, to wash dishes or do homework. Yet as I think further, virtuosos usually begin to play their instruments when they are very young, and I didn't start to play until the fourth grade. There is always a time for firsts, but just in case I'm not the next Mozart, maybe I shouldn't depend too much on my violin.

If only I could decide what I wanted to do with my life! At this point, that would be the greatest accomplishment of all; I suppose, after all, one of the best things about being my age is having the ability to dream, and the potential to make my dreams come true. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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