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I am Me
A lover of books, a girl Peter Pan who is forever trapped between what is and what could be, and one who thinks she sees what others don’t, but knows perhaps this is her own vanity.
At school, I stand between those who are popular and those who are not, a mediator between worlds. I want to mediate between worlds—to stand with the lowly and the powerful alike, to generate empathy for those we do not understand.
On some days, I hope when I grow up I’ll be the next Britney Spears. On other days, I long to be a hard-nosed attorney—the woman who drops the toughest scam-artist in town into the big house.
Candlelit vanilla-scented bubble baths on cold days, humming to Norah Jones, pirouetting in the rain, a good debate, chocolate instead of food, hot slippers fresh out of the dryer, and old books. I want to be the thousandth person who has turned the page of a well-loved story.
But most of all,
A weaver of words.
A girl with dreams.
Writing is about creating something I can call my own. When I write, I feel a fire ignite in my soul, and I am compelled to create something with the hands of my mind. It is a piece of my soul to share, and as I read the words in my mind, I imagine my little sister’s laughter like a warm, crackling fire.
When a child looks at his or her hands, hours after they are just born, it is with curious delight, not passing indifference. I watch my little brother examining his hands, moving them about like a tiny circus ringmaster through the air, eyes blinking in delighted confusion. In contrast, I watch the lady at the grocery store in front of our cart glance briefly at her chipped nails, then look away. She is blind to the wonder of her hands—the delicate web of 27 bones, countless tendons, and innumerable proximal interphalangeal joints that allow her to caress her baby’s cheek, stir a pot of chicken soup, and dance a Bach concerto upon ivory keys.
Children look at the simplest of things with the most observation, the most clarity. Although adults are known for their greater intelligence and wisdom, it is children who capture the glory of little things.
A little boy watches the sun fall gracefully into the belly of the fiery sea, crossing into a world unseen. The boy watches until the glowing goddess has made her full journey. He sits, tossing stones into the water, pondering where the glowing orb went. Perhaps it has gone to light another world, or perhaps it is just a dying ember that blooms again another day. I watch his father, sweating in his three-piece suit, his briefcase open beside him as faithful as a dog. His father does not see the sun—he is too busy making “important business calls” on his cell phone.
A child’s eyes see into the soul of nature, and in our observations, we are creating the philosophy of the next generation of the human race. So the next time you read a child’s words, look at them more closely—take them a bit more seriously. For it may indeed be a message waiting to be read, a code waiting to be deciphered, a symphony of detailed observations that adults no longer see.
I love flying, both literally and metaphorically. I remember the first time I flew over the ocean, where all I could see was a rippling blue green sea that stretched into eternity. The color reminded me of God’s eyes. And I was just suspended there, and for an ephemeral moment, I was alone. It was just me—me and my soul, dancing above the entire world with no one to tell me whom I would become but myself.
Today, society tells us we can be whatever we want…but we don’t always mean it. If you woke up tomorrow morning and told your mother you wanted to be a horse riding clown who balances carrots on her head for a living, she’d probably just laugh. She’d probably say that that career choice just wasn’t an option. I say differently. Don’t let the world sit on you.
People always told me I couldn’t write, act, dance, and compete in the Junior Olympics for rhythmic gymnastics at the same time. They told me it was just too much, and I needed to choose one. But somehow, I did it anyway. It’s when I stand on the stage at Carnegie Hall with the future artists of my time, leap into the air to catch my ribbon after three cartwheels, or write the perfect sentence that I know that possibility is limited only by our own decisions.
Flying is a metaphor for my life. My favorite thing about flying is that when you’re all alone up there, you get perspective. There’s something about hovering above the world that breaks your boundaries—that makes you see possibilities instead of limitations, the sky instead of the inside of a box. Suddenly, all those people in my life who seemed so intimidating are insignificant, and everything seems possible. As I hover in the sky, I can’t wait for my wheels to touch the ground so I can run with this feeling, hoping it will not dissipate as soon as I land.