Overthought- My Senior Reflection

May 11, 2011
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Last night I sat staring up at my ceiling trying to find the elusive state that we call sleep. The dark of my room revealed only a slight outline of the light fixture, the curtains rustling with the draft from the vent, and the bookshelf above my head. My mind was moving at a couple thousand miles a minute and I did not really wish for it to stop even though I knew I should sleep.

I was blaming myself for things yet again. If only I had been in New Jersey last summer maybe Marielle would not have hung herself. If only I had coped better with Marielle’s death maybe Jennifer would still be by my side. If only, if only; words that plague many of my waking moments with their poison.

Due to this I have more or less been stuck on autopilot for the last year. The majority of the time I would find it difficult to truly enjoy a lot of my actions. With a staunch belief in right and wrong, along with a conviction to always pick the right choice, I started losing sight of why I developed that conviction in the first place.

As I stared at that ceiling the material world melted away and I found myself soaring through my memories as if on a magic carpet ride through my inspirations. At the time the flashbacks appeared as clear as a motion picture. I saw my struggle with schizophrenic delusions and hallucinations in middle school and my first girlfriend, Amanda, helping ground me enough that I broke free of it. I remembered the inspiration for living in the present; the drive to fix reality instead of escape from it. I remembered conversations long past with my good friend, Bruna. I felt the indignation I always felt towards society when I heard about how it would beat down on her idealism. I realized that was where my drive to protect the innocent originated. I remember the euphoric relationship with Jennifer and how our connection and conversations inspired me to strive to surpass chivalry and move into a heroic mode of living. I learned from her that a hero is someone that overcomes the negative aspects of their emotions and experiences and turns them into strength, which is then used to help others. My most recent revelation hit me full force just after that memory. Taylor, a recent friend, reminded me about why I helped people in the first place. She reminded me that I do the right, nice, and helpful thing for more reasons than just because it’s the right thing to do. Helping people in need whether they are friends or not is a deeply fulfilling activity that I had forgotten how to enjoy. For the past few months I had been doing things “because it is right” as if I was trudging through a blizzard to do so. Now I think I can safely say it will feel like I’m skipping down the Yellow Brick Road again. Helping people should bring personal satisfaction for many reasons. Turning it into a chore helps no one because you are not properly emotionally invested in the actions! Of course over the past year I had other memories outside of interpersonal relationships that inspired me.

Literature has been an amazing influence on me this year. My musings last night pulled me into a whirlwind of books, plays, and poems I had read. Even books I disliked had taught me something. From The Sun Also Rises I had the pointlessness of agonizing over personal woes emphasized. David Edding’s Belgariad promoted within my mind the sheer power of the smallest of actions. The Invisible Man highlighted a deep and fruitless journey that taught me a very important lesson about the world. When you’re alone you cannot change anything; change must come from a collective voice supporting the outspoken voice. Despite all those amazing pieces of literature one stood out heads and shoulder above the rest in my mind. Ivanhoe put my entire philosophy of chivalry back into perspective. Scenes from the book played through my mind at a couple thousand frames per second. I saw the tournament, I felt the romance, I breathed the noble aspirations, and I lived the quest for justice.

Everything I have learned this year in those few dark hours was put into a stunning perspective. I know that no matter which career I pick when I get to college I’ll end up helping people. I know this because no matter how many times the world has tried to beat it out of me I have just come back more determined than before. Look out world; here I come, stronger and more determined than ever to be “the nurse of pure and high affection-the stay of the oppressed, the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant” (Ivanhoe 109).

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