Atop the current of the lake, a young woman zoomed on a gleaming red jet ski. Her long, brown hair flew behind her, strong and full of life. One year later, her now limp hair surrendered to radiation and fell to a cold, ceramic floor. Despite the untrodden path set before her, she persevered fearlessly. She won the battle against her brain tumor and Amy Smith(last name has been change) has thrived ever since.
I was there the day she was diagnosed. I was there the day the doctor spoke those weighted words that fell to the floor and shattered Amy’s normal life. This scene incessantly plays in my head, provoking thoughts of confusion with every view. In every movie, this scene is accompanied by tears, hopeless music, and faded lighting. This is the climatic point of tragedy. However, in reality this scene played out much differently. Amy smiled. She smiled with confidence and bravery, assuring the doctor with her reply that she would overcome his diagnosis. She defied the gravity of the situation with her unimaginable confidence. Although she had just received what would seem like the beginning of an epitaph for most, she was happy. Every time I watch this scene and relive the seconds, I wonder what Amy possessed that maintained her happiness. This epiphany would not occur until Amy’s frail body began displaying the effects of cancer.
Through her suffering, enduring defiance, and faith, she overcame cancer. Her experience magnified the definition of life and belittled my juvenile connotations of living it. I had invested my resources and emotions into trivial things that would not stand out in my life’s timeline. My resources went towards labels that led to popularity. I wasted time in arguments with my parents over being able to stay out later then midnight because that was the social norm. I exerted so much energy in my attempts to be accepted and happy. Through the tears shed, the words yelled, and the emotions spilled, I had slammed the door to reality. While my cousin fought for her life, I incessantly devoted my time to make things better. Life is about dealing with what you have, not constantly trying to get more. I focused on instantaneous happiness, which involved living and thinking about only what happened in the present. I failed to realize that long-term happiness could only be derived from futuristic thinking and eliminating my need to always want.
I will no longer pave my path one step at a time with bricks of lust; I will not be unsure of the direction it will lead me. Instead, I will have a destination on the horizon, each step leading me closer to happiness. I’m in charge of writing the script and choosing the genre: adventure. Uncertainty will accompany my every move, but my cousin gave me strength to overcome it. Fear will not catalyze my movements, but inspire them. From Amy’s example, I have learned to have stronger faith and will to power me through the rough patches of reality and to maintain focus on what is important.