At the age of six, I had my life figured out. Sea World would be my life in a story, filled with imagination, awe, and learning. However, I had not yet achieved perfection in any sense. I still had to learn that not all animals evolve through reproduction. Sometimes a species must change to improve themselves as individuals. In the past sixteen years, I have changed in many ways, and always for the improvement of my initiative.
As I was growing up, I would always be reading anything I could get my hands on. However, I was no official literary scholar. I didn’t even learn what a simile was until seventh grade! I read like a machine: flipping through the pages and absorbing its content until I closed the book with an exasperated sigh in recognition of the end of every epic journey. I loved to read for the experiences, to see through the main character’s eyes, to learn each moral presented, to discover hidden worlds. In fact, I skipped through my own life with the same optimism: every day was a new adventure waiting for this young hero to participate. I climbed mountains in the Rockies, traversed endlessly through the concrete jungles of Europe, survived living in a foreign country, and attempted to surf over the rolling waves of the Gulf, parading through life everyday with imagination behind every corner and a go-get’em attitude that never wavered. At least, until I failed.
The dreams that were crushed when I could not do well were not only my own, but, I assumed, were others’ as well. Times like those I remembered the words of Black Beauty’s mother: “There are good owners and there are bad owners.” Just like there are good experiences that can come from bad experiences. At every insult I cried, but I mostly ignored them when thrown at me once again. At every bad grade I brought home, I was disappointed, but I promised myself to do well next time and bring in A’s. At every failure, I became a better person, upholding the words of a Kelly Clarkson, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Along with my emotional side I grew, creating a deity of creativity and knowledge that I grew to worship. I had complete faith in myself, so that even when I failed, I knew that I would succeed when the time came. Things may not go according to plan at the moment, but then again, what does? For example, ninth grade came along and I decided to enter a class that would ultimately change me forever. I was as free as a bird; my hand flew across the paper at the speed of light, leaving footprints in the wood remnants that could possibly last for a lifetime. I felt the breeze of freedom in my hair, and fell in love with another: the orange pencil. Although I was excited to bring in a new experience, a new talent into my life, this love would eventually provide a difficult conflict for me. I fell into the tug of war between blue and orange, the ocean and sky, science and art, marine biology and creative writing. I spent months pondering what I have had and what I could have, but then I realized that my life had turned into a Twilight conflict. Horrified by this conclusion, I then decided to choose them both. Even today, my room has been painted blue on three of my walls in honor of the ocean, but on the windowed wall is an explosion of tangerine that never fails to remind me of my other, more creative side.
Today, I am still growing upon myself. Like a tidal wave that accumulates mass, volume, and momentum, and lets nothing get in the way of its path. Not getting rid of anything of value but adding new experiences to my collection, following the wise words of a Blue Tang: “Just keep swimming.” I keep swimming through adventures, swimming through dreams, swimming through words. Swimming on and on until I reach the metaphorical cliff that symbolizes my goals. I shall then splash over it, filling the world with my cool waters. But until then, I shall enjoy being myself because there is nothing better than being a sensitive, imaginative, intelligent, overly hopeful, indecisive young adventurer who just “keeps getting better.”