Tuesday, September 4. 2012
First, some helpful guidelines and tips. These will help you avoid losing points you should otherwise earn!
Wall of Fame, Class of 2012: Corbin Quan, Joyce Liao, Madison Dreshner, Megan White, Devin Leung, Kevin Luu, Rachel Yang, Simon Luong, Jasmine Falatoonzadeh, Tiffany Shar, Joseph Chang, Alton Wang, and Lyndon Yu.
Some entries contain narrative elements (plot, conclusion, voice, tension, etc.); others offer insight into the author's perspective, philosophy, or worldview. The strongest ones, of course, do both simultaneously.
Each avoids providing dictionary definitions of the concept I'm asking you to explore (I want your thoughts - I can look in the dictionary if I want boilerplate interpretations!), and seems fairly polished.
Each writer eventually crafted far stronger posts, especially with respect to structure, but his/her talent was evident from the get-go. That's what I'm most hoping to see in these: a strong start, with clear potential for better things.
Just remember, at the end, what I told you at the beginning:
Everything you do comes back to you.
1. Exposing what is mortal and unsure to all that fortune, death and danger dare, even for an eggshell. Isn’t there something in that? Isn’t there something in living dangerously?
The end of “The Brahmin’s Son” is very near and dear to my heart, partly due to my fondness for that understatedly powerful sort of writing and partly due to my own departure from home.
When I was little, I told my mother – repeatedly – that I wasn’t going to move out until I was thirty years old. Why thirty? Beats me. I was seven and had no intention of ever leaving the house I loved, and thirty seemed like it was forever and a day away. (Now I’ll be thirty in less than four years…weird how that happens.)
Obviously, I didn’t follow through: I graduated and left home at eighteen, twelve years before I said I would. But when I went off to school, I went away – I had no car, very little money, etc. I went from a 7,800-person town populated by middle-class suburban and rural white people to a college located just beyond a “Los Angeles City Limits: Population 3,795,800” sign and surrounded by Spanish-language billboards.
Going it alone was far more of a change than I expected, and I had a rough first semester. I had pretty much no one to ask for advice – no one else came down to Southern California except an ex-girlfriend with whom I’d shared an exciting-but-rocky Tom Hanson/Summer Finn-style courtship (ah, young love) – and I wouldn’t have known what to ask anyway.
There were a lot of days when I couldn’t remember why I had come to Southern California, and a lot of days when I felt I had made a huge mistake.
But I’m stubborn. I refused to acknowledge what I was feeling, dug my heels in deeper, stopped calling home – did virtually everything to worsen the separation, even though it was that separation that hurt.
It was a weird mindset: I simultaneously decided that I was in over my head and that I didn’t much care about getting back to the surface. I had made a decision, and I was just going to march forward.
My parents realized I was unhappy. They hated the fact that I was so far away. They didn’t like Southern California; they still don’t. They could have forced my hand whenever they wanted – pulled the funds they’d been sending me to put me through college. I certainly didn’t have enough money to do it alone.
They never wrote to demand, or even suggest, that I come home.
They never called and told me to return.
They left me alone.
2. Our sons are born because...well, because they must be born, and when they come to life they take our own life with them. This is the truth. We belong to them but they never belong to us.
My father and I went on a college-visit road trip during my final semester of high school. I was an apathetic prospie – I didn’t want to leave my friends and home – but I decided that since everyone else was leaving, I just needed to fall in somewhere. Not very ambitious.
But every time I asked my father to make a suggestion, every time I hinted that I wanted him to make the decision for me, he refused. He explained to me that it was his duty to draw on his experiences to teach me as I grew up – and that it was also his duty to let me chart my own course, no matter how he felt about my choices. I have to let you make mistakes, he said; they’re your mistakes to make. And he said nothing else.
This drove me crazy. I wanted him to tell me that Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was the best choice, that the University of Puget Sound would make me truly happy, that UC Santa Cruz would allow me to grow as a writer – heck, I wanted him to insist that I was making a mistake and demand that I needed to stay home. Anything to plant a target. Anything to point the arrow.
Instead, he went on every tour with me, soaking in the campuses quietly, always observing, never imposing the views he had formed. I chose Occidental - moved four hundred and fifty miles away and never moved back.
When I was older, I asked him if that had been hard for him, if it had been difficult to see me just flopping about like a stranded fish during the college search. He told me that he never doubted I’d find something that made me happy, but that he knew that I had to find my own way, and that he couldn’t possibly pick that way for me. It was hard to know I was unhappy, hundreds of miles away, but he trusted my judgment even more than I did, and was willing to let me learn through success or failure.
And when my little sister repeated the “college road trip” four years later…well, so did he. Quietly.
I ended up OK. Occidental became the right place for me over time. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gone into teaching had I enrolled elsewhere. I would have led a completely different life, and I don’t think it would have measured up to the one I’m leading now.
I was lucky enough to have parents who trusted me to do the right thing, even though I wasn’t really trying to do it. As fate would have it, I ended up justifying that faith.
In many ways, Siddhartha’s father made the same decision as my father, albeit more stubbornly. Both men looked into the eyes of their sons and realized that boys no longer returned their gazes. Both men understood (eventually) that while sons may follow (unconsciously or not) in the footsteps of their fathers – that we bear their hopes and burdens equally – the time had come to pull back. And both allowed their sons to leave the only homes each had ever known, burying the pain that followed.
Siddhartha never speaks with his father again. I’m grateful for the chance to speak with mine, and grateful for the choices he made. His decision to take a hands-off approach to my collegiate departure may not have been the right one for everyone, but it was the right one for his only son: I got to aim before I launched my arrow, and I hit the target.
+ Reflect back on your reading of War, a story about the relationships between fathers and sons that ends quite differently from “The Brahmin’s Son.” I began the second section of this post with a quote from that story. Having read both stories (and lived in your own skin for seventeen to eighteen years), please explain whether that sentiment is accurate, as well as why.
+ You haven’t left home yet, but Departure Day draws nearer with every passing moment. Will your parents make a decision similar to the one my father – or Siddhartha’s – made?
+ Do you think you could make the same type of decision as the fathers I've discussed when your own children are grown? Will you treat them the way my father treated me, or will you take a different tack?
+ Is Siddhartha’s father’s decision wise?
+ What about Govinda’s decision to leave the village with Siddhartha? He doesn’t want to leave the village, and yet he follows Siddhartha. It’s an incredible show of loyalty – but is it a wise or healthy decision? Once again, could you see yourself making a similar decision?
+ Should we admire Siddhartha for his choices? Should we criticize him? If faced with similar circumstances, could you make the same choice? Would you?
+ Finally, Siddhartha goes in search of…something. Maybe truth...perhaps fulfillment, or a cure for restlessness...even a simple sense of peace. He has very little idea of how to find any of it; he’s looking for something, but he doesn’t quite understand what he’s looking for yet.
Do you know what you’re looking for?
This post is due to both Turnitin.com and the blog itself. Please submit your work to both sites no later than 11:59pm on Thursday, September 6th.
You are responsible for the following:
+ One main response, with a minimum length of two seven-sentence paragraphs. You should only come in at the minimum if your response warrants it - i.e., if you're writing profoundly enough to say what you need to say beautifully and concisely.
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+ Two nominations, with ample justification for each nomination. You do not need to nominate the posts you replied to on the blog; you cannot nominate yourself; triangular trading is illegal. The nomination form can be found HERE.
Please try to post insightful, specific, and polished pieces.
Punctuation, grammar, and mechanics all count towards your grade.
Compose your replies carefully, and always remember to build your credibility - use proof, not hypothetical statements. Write the why for every what!
As always, you are not required to respond to every question.
One more thing: as you develop as writers, your pieces should look more and more constructed. By that, I mean they should demonstrate not simply knowledge of writing as a craft, but an awareness of how to make your work truly profound. As we move through the semester, practice writing not simply as students, but as creators. Experiment with writing, in other words, as writers do.
As always, write well, think well…and good luck.
1. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
2. Luigi Pirandello, War
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Do I know what I am looking for? Does anyone? Before I start, let’s see a quick recap of my life.
General info: Alex Berger, 17 years old, Senior at AHS, loves history, hates math, two younger brothers, mother and father, all that normal stuff.
What I do: BSA- Eagle scout (you can thank me for all those odd toilet thingies in your classes), I am a swim instructor at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, and if that didn’t put water in my life, I also am on Varsity swim and water polo.
Intrests/hobbies: Reading anything that has to do with sci-fi, reading anything in general, Minecraft, general surfing on the internet, or listening to music that was popular a few generations ago.
So, in a nutshell, that’s me. What now? I have always figured I would attend some sort of college or another, but I never really saw it as a top priority on my to-do list, filing it off into the part of my brain labeled “college stuff”. There was always something more important, something that I absolutely had to get done right at this minute, college was the least of my worries. Anything that had to do with the “C-word”, after all, was so far off in the distance, I would have ample time to dive into it. Later.
“Pssh, I have until high school to figure everything out!”
“I have until I’m a senior to figure all that out!”
“I have all summer to figure that out!”
And now I am here. I know generally what I like, and what I don’t like, but not enough to commit to anything. I love my job teaching lessons, but do I really want to be teaching for the rest of my foreseeable future? (Don’t take offense to that, Mr. Feraco). Maybe I would like to go into business, and pursue a major in marketing? I certainly am creative enough, but maybe I am lacking a bit on the whole “expressing-your-ideas-on-paper” thing. Would I be able to succeed?
I am looking for wherever to go next. Like Mr. Feraco’s parents, mine are being infuriatingly hands-off about the whole college thing. Private, public, community college, online, small schools, large schools, in-state, out-of-state, residential, commuting- The list goes on and on…
I am looking for the security of knowing that I will make the right decision. I want to be able to wake up 20 years from now, and think to myself, “I freaking nailed it back in high school.” I want to thrive in my new work environment, blowing by all the obstacles that may oppose me. I want to start a family, and live among people who truly and fully love and care for me.
And I want to know that somehow or another, I’ve made a difference. That at the end of the day, I positively influenced somebodies life. I try to live my life as the best I can live it, and be a role model for those around me. No, I don’t go around sticking post-its on mirrors in the bathroom, or throw myself into burning buildings to rescue babies, but I do my own thing. Little things, like shuffling the cars around in the driveway so my mom doesn’t have to do it when she leaves the house at 5am. Or staying after work, off the clock, to help one of my struggling students get fully confident with his movements through the water. Or staying up way too late to help one of my friends finish up and polish an essay. Or any other of the numerous things that I feel people should do for each other every single day.
What are all of you looking for? Is it peace within your family? Is it “the one”? Would it be as small as that earring you lost last Tuesday? Maybe you are looking for something as large as the next breakthrough in cancer research? Did you lose your way when heading home, and are now searching for the way back to you house? Have you misplaced a library book? Are your racking your brain, trying to remember the answer for your AP calc test?
I guess that after all of this, all I really know is that I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
(Link to the song, hyperlinking was being difficult. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdCJRybAtso )
I really liked hearing your thoughts about this because I think it is something a lot of us wonder about too. Your background information definitely helped me understand where you are coming from so thank you for that.
I was just wondering if you can further explain your thought on "security" and what are you trying to do at the moment to find it or eventually reach that goal. Do you have any ideas what you might want to do or do you need time to travel and try different things? How would you be able to do this right now, next year in college, and even after college? Will you ever be sure about it or do you believe in the uncertainty in life?
I hope that made some sense to you. I apologize if I confused you a bit. Thank you and great job.
Wow! A comment!
"I was just wondering if you can further explain your thoughts on “security”, and what you are trying to do at the moment to find or eventually reach this goal"
-I see this security as a future goal to strive for, knowing that it would be hard, (if not impossible), to mess myself up. I would be in a successful job, and one that I wake up to every day being genuinely happy to be alive. As of right now, I am working on just growing and maturing as a human, learning more about myself and about the society that I live in. Next year sometime, I plan on going to college as an undeclared major, and continue to absorb all the knowledge that I can find, until I find what truly works for me.
"Do you have any ideas what you might want to do, or do you need time to travel and try different things?"
-Short answer: Nope. Sorry about not being too helpful on this one.
"Will you ever be sure about it or do you believe in the uncertainty in life?"
-While nobody is ever sure about anything, I do believe that I will get a grasp on everything. I love a good challenge every now and then, and I can think of nothing better than pitting me against life itself. Who knows, maybe I will actually figure everything out someday? (This sound eerily like Siddhartha to anyone else?)
"I hope that made some sense to you. I apologize if I confused you a bit. Thank you and great job."
-I just hope that my responses made sense to you, and anyone else who happens to read this. And lastly, thanks! It really is nice to read nice things about something I wrote.
We have much more in common than I thought! My whole life, just like you, I have always thought that thinking about college was millennia away. I thought that I would be fine and that everything would just fall into place for me like magic. I too, have not just yet found what I am looking for, but I do feel like maybe finding that “thing” is a part of why we are here. Like maybe that is a part of our purpose in life. I am satisfied with where I am at now, and I am proud of everything I do. As one of my favorite quotes says,
“Do not pursue the past. Do not lose yourself in the future. The past no longer is. The future has not yet come. Look deeply at life as it is in the very here and now.”
“Do not pursue the past. Do not lose yourself in the future. The past no longer is. The future has not yet come. Look deeply at life as it is in the very here and now.”
I totally read that in the voice of my water polo coach. Great quote!
Your post was the first one I read, har har. Okay not funny, but in all seriousness, I truly like the way you structured your post. Telling everyone about yourself so that it would be more understandable when hearing your opinion and college issues is a great idea. Not saying you have issues, because issues are common when figuring out the future! I love the fact that I can totally hear you speaking through these words too, since you used to say all kinds of witty things back in Leahy’s last year. I also want to say thanks I suppose, for saying your opinion on the idea of going to college and facing the reality that it’s already here, because I’m sure almost all of us feel the same way, you just put it down in words for us! And something strange, the thing about shuffling the cars around for Mom who leaves at 5am in the morning… That goes on in my house too. Then I remembered we’re neighbors. Yikes. Great post, loved the structure and originality!
I’m glad that you were able to hear my voice in what I wrote here. I try to always put a bit of myself into anything that I do, whether it be my teaching, or the APUSH essays, a sense of individuality is key.
I am also happy that the whole automobile ballet happens at other houses, sometimes I had wondered if my family was just unable to park in a way to allow sensible departures, like others apparently do.
Wow. Not only was your piece a great read with [what I felt was] really good structuring, but the ideas you presented where really profound, and interesting.
At one point, you said
"I want to be able to wake up 20 years from now, and think to myself, “I freaking nailed it back in high school.” "
I really don't know why, but that line struck a chord in my mind. I think we all aim to make the "right" decision, but the way you put it really resonated with me.
Great job, man. I really enjoyed reading that.
Thanks for all the kind words Austin, I'm glad that my internal monologue can resonate with others besides myself.
Good luck in pursuing you law career!
Your blog post was a great combination of down-to-earth concerns and deep considerations of the future. I really loved that you were able to mix thinking about your future career, high school, and personal desires for fulfillment together. I believe that you'll do great in the future and lead an enviable, happy life.
It is September of my Senior year and by now the topic of college has been brought up many times. Every time, I see the pain on my parent’s faces as they realize that this new milestone in my life involves me moving out. With them being at my side for the last 16 years of my life to protect and guide me, the mere thought of my absence under their wing is beyond nerve wrecking and agonizing. I tell them the distance from home to the colleges that I’m applying to and I listen to them desperately calculate how they can take me to and from class everyday but deep inside they know that it is impossible and that I must move into a dorm to make everything more convenient. At first my father rejected at the idea of me moving out but he slowly realized that it is inevitable. My mother constantly dreads the day I leave, she tells me the lack of my presence and not being able to talk to me at any given moment will be difficult for her to cope with. Although I really didn’t want to leave the comfort of home and the idea of me being independent filled me with nervousness and sadness, I was ready to embrace the world on my own. I was prepared to make choices on my own, make my own mistakes and learn from them, and to go through life without my parent’s guidance and close watch. They acknowledge this and know that letting me go is the right thing to do in order for me to be able to survive the world and learn valuable lessons about society and myself. I would say my circumstances and my parent’s decision is similar to that of Siddhartha and his father; the thought of Siddhartha leaving home bewilders his father who refuses the notion but then eventually sees the determination in Siddhartha’s eyes. He realizes that Siddhartha has already “left” him and that nothing his father says will change his choice. Siddhartha’s father knows that Siddhartha will benefit from this solo journey and that he needs this in order to find some sort of fulfillment or answer, something that cannot be achieved by staying at home.
I personally do admire Siddhartha for his choice of leaving. He felt that staying at home would result in no answers nor enlightenment for him. Thus, he had the courage to stand up to his father and leave his comfort zone because he believes that is what he must do. I am facing this conflict right now as well, the decision of whether to stay at home or move out for college. I have decided that I have to move out in order to be able to know how to handle life on my own and be responsible for my actions. Although this devastates both my parents, this decision is a big opportunity for me. I know I could please myself and my parents by taking the option to stay at home and spend the next 4 years of my life being pampered and protected, but I know that is not the right path for me which is what I think is going through Siddhartha’s mind as well when he made his big decision.
Hey, Josephine! When comes down on leaving home for college, I feel exactly the same way as you do. Lack of security, going to the darkness by your own really terrifies me. Your post definitely shows your insights on one aspect of life- security Vs. independence. But also, I think you can extend more on your struggling of making the same decision as Siddhartha or choose the safe route. Details, insights, and perspective are good elements in your post! Yet, it will be awesomer if you add in anecdotes or just conversations with your parents. I hope my comment helps...
Hi Josephine, Rolphe/Goto buddy, your post really shines above the rest. Not only do you write elegantly, but you also write in a way so that others can connect to you. I praise your courage to face those obstacles and look forward. You can do it, no need to envy Siddhartha. Good Luck and keep up the good work.
Thank you for the sweet comment, Kristine! (Miss you, by the way). Your words really made my day since I've always have had doubts about my writing abilities....
I feel like my situation is almost the exact opposite of yours.
Honestly, the only thing that is getting me through senior year is the fact that I have college next year. To me, College means freedom. Not because I dislike being taken care of by my parents, but because I feel the need to experience the world on my own. Going to college also teaches us time management and the ability to take care of ourselves.
Regarding parents. My parents also feel the same way as me. They feel that I should go out into the world and experience things first hand. They're always telling me about things of the outside world, and how I can only truly earn them by going through them with my own will.
College is going to be fun! I'm sure everyone will get homesick for at least a couple of days, but when we start to make new friends and experience college life, I'm sure all of us will really enjoy it.
Well don't get me wrong. I AM excited for college and being on my own. But you don't know my parents, they're the most amazing people in the world and seeing them get left behind and having them miss me is a painful sight for me. But thank you for the feedback, the world has a lot in store for us
Now that I think about it. I can understand your standpoint as well. I love my parents too, and I'll definitely miss them. I guess my excitement for college kind of overshadowed that part when I commented on your post. Thanks for the read though. :]
We shouldn't pursue a career that we do not enjoy even though it pays more than six digits. Money can not buy happiness. I agree with you all the way.
Josh, I realize that you have a right to your own opinion but believe that you should appreciate high school for what it is. Take advantage of everything Arcadia High School has to offer, it truly is a tremendous place.
You speak as if you can't make your own decisions right now, but you can! The world is yours to explore, and you shouldn't wait until next year to do so.
I do agree with you when you say that college will be fun, but, you need to cherish the time you have in high school as well. When you're older, you should look back and think, "Wow! I had a great time in high school." Don't go through high school to grow up and regret what you did, or didn't do.
So, take advantage of everything that you have been given! All of the students at Arcadia High School are privileged to be in such a great environment. So I'm saying, you need to find your niche and thrive in it! Live it up!
"Every day you have the opportunity to learn and experience some-thing and some-one new. Seize the opportunity. Learn and experience everything you can, and use it to change the world." -Rodney Williams
I totally agree with basically everything you just said! Independence is one thing... but then truly going down your own path is another. Just like how you said it, the comfort of home is irreplaceable.
I completely understand how your parents feel. I know when I grow up and have kids, it will be difficult to let them go when they officially become adults and head off to college. Holding them right when they are born and watching them develop from young children to young adults is a sight to see. Every parent hopes the best for their children and although it may be uncomfortable for them to see their children enter the real world and pursue their passions, they must do what is best, not for themselves, but for their children. The decision must be mutual as well and that is why you have decided to leave your comfort zone and go off to college. I know you might be homesick time to time when you head off to college, but you must use the experience to continue develop as an individual. Just like you, I agree with Siddhartha's father to let him go because when we become parents, we will have to let go of our children and hope that they find what they are seeking for.
First off, I'd like to say that I liked reading this post. Unlike you, however, I am already looking forward to experiencing life in college. Although I view this situation from a different perspective, I can honestly say that I know what you mean. I, too, do not want to leave my home and parents whom I have been with for the last 16 years. However, we have to look past that and prepare for a new beginning. Like Josh said, college will be fun and you'll definitely learn to enjoy it.
Really appreciate the feedback guys! I think I may have worded myself incorrectly, I AM really excited for college and being on my own but seeing my parent's sadness just kind of kills me inside. But I am totally anxious and excited to embark on this new milestone on my own though! Thanks for all the comments, you guys are awesome.
Sad but true the bird does eventually leave the nest. As human beings we have a natural urge to find fulfillment of some sort, and at often times it requires us to depart into the unknown. Like Siddhartha, I too have the desire to seek enlightenment, maybe not as spiritual, but inner enlightenment, to embrace my own “om”. However I am not exactly sure what my “om” is, though I have a pretty good idea that once I leave I might be able to find it. As of this time in my life I have never before felt so confused and frustrated. My parents have almost always controlled my every decision and when they asked “what do you want to do”, I’m lost. How should I respond? I can’t respond because I don’t know myself and it frustrates me. Does anyone really know themselves?
I know our parents understand that “our children do not belong to us” yet they’re so stubborn. They hold on to us until the very end. We leave our homes to go find answers yet I feel that we probably will never truly find a satisfying answer. Maybe just feeling content is all that we need? All that we really strive for? Is inner peace enough? The uncertainty that comes with life makes it all the more memorable.
Hahaha, I feel the same way Sammy.
I think it is safe to say that most people do not like monotony nor tedium. Who would want to wake, eat, and sleep without a break to the sequence for their whole life?
Uncertainty adds variety: the colourful spice that makes life interesting.
I agree, Sammy! I think that being independent will definitely benefit us in a way, although we don't know how, we'll never know until we try, right? I think that being on my own will help me discover some answers, even if I don't even really know what the questions are. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"!
I also agree that being independent and finding our way into the world is the way to go. Even though we venture into the unknown to find ourselves, it isn't without rewards! After all, isn't life an adventure?
I love the last line in your post!
"The uncertainty that comes with life makes it all the more memorable."
I totally agree. It's what makes life an adventure! I think that knowing everything would simply be boring. There would be no element of surprise.
Hey guys thanks for responding!
After reading a lot of posts I now understand that we are all going through the same thing right now. We are more alike than we are different, right?
I totally agree with you the day we leave the nest a lot of parents will be very upset.
Being the first generation in America and the oldest amongst my cousin puts me in a tough spot. I have to be a good role model for my cousins to follow and also achieve something great my parents can be proud of. Although my parents have high expectations for me, they don’t expect me to be a doctor or a lawyer. They want me to do something that would make a difference. They told me they would be proud of me no matter what I did.
I remember my years of being an innocent child (ages 10-14). So much time for me to learn and mature, seriously I was a grain of rice in a rice sack. I saw my parents as the greatest people in the world, thinking they know every answer to my questions or problems. The thought of leaving the nest never crossed my mind. As I grew older into my teenager years I started to understand my parents more. Not just understanding why they cherish me and protect me so dearly but there main goal; to prepare me for the real world.
After reading War and reading about Siddhartha choice of leaving home to find enlightenment, I thought about how my parents would react when my “departure day” nears. Its finally senior year and I can see how my parents are trying to mold me into a young adult before I leave for college. They want to make sure that I’m mature enough to make the right decision. Even though they act so chill and cool about me it, I know they don’t want that day to come. They want to be there every step I make. But they know they have to let me go because once my feathers grow in and my wings are strong enough, I’m ready to fly.
I agree that at a young age I never thought about going to college. I just went to school because I was forced to. Only when I was older did I realize that picking a good college is important. The real world is unsheltered unlike our homes. Our parents won't always be there to protect us. It's important that they prepared us.
I think we all wasted our childhood wishing we were were older. Here we are, older, and it's so much worse. Great post Kevin. Love the strong wings part too
I think we all wasted our childhood wishing we were were older. Here we are, older, and it's so much worse. Great post Kevin. Love the strong wings part too
Kevin, I completely agree with you. It's hard to not turn back around and stay in our mother's arms while we have a whole other chapter in life to live, to explore. The toughest part is no doubt, opening that book. So good luck! I hope all is well to you and your cousins!
Great post Kevin! I completely understand how you feel about trying to be a good role for your cousins. And I guess having to face “departure day” is a part of growing up and a part of allowing you to “fly”.
I admire your strength Kevin on leaving the nest. I too, never thought about leaving my home or even growing up for that matter. Now that I am a senior, I am realizing more and more on how close I am to have to think about having to buy my own place, get a job and even start a family. I can’t help but feel like it was only yesterday that I was deciding on whether I should get the Scooby Doo or Superman pajamas. It is becoming more clear to me that we all have to grow up sometime and face the responsibilities that come with being an independent adult who has to travel our individual journeys in life.
This post attracted me because I am also a first generation and the oldest cousin on both sides of my family.
I've always thought I'd stick around Southern California with my parents too, but depending on if I get opportunities from out of state universities, I might not be able to.
I know what you mean by being a good role model within you family. I'm the oldest in my family so I have to leave a path for my younger brother to look up to. Time flew way to fast, we look back and noticed how much has changed since we were younger and naive. But now that were here, it's almost time for us to leave our own footsteps at Arcadia High and start our own new journey.
I was raised in a house where B rated horror flicks were a family past time. One theme that always seems to occur in these low budget films is the untimely death of the late night swimmers. Weather being pulled down to the deepest depths of the ocean by vengeful ghost pirates or having one leg severed off your body by a giant lake dwelling prehistoric creature, the swimmer is always lost in the dark abyss.
I never swim in dark water.
The darkness is a very scary place. I know this first hand because of my compulsive fear of it which leads me to only fall asleep with the T.V. on. Among things that characterize my personality bravery is absent. Siddhartha; on the other hand, is brave. With such pressure on him from others expectations, to just leave is remarkable. Siddhartha Jumps into the dark water to reach an uncharted destination. This, I admire greatly.
If faced with the decision like becoming a freelanced artist on Venice beach or going to college, I would choose college. I would be safe, stable, and content. My path would be well lit with blinking signs. Siddhartha would be safe and stable at home with his parents also. His path was already so well lit by his expectation to be great within his own community.
“Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear. And I can’t help but ask myself how much I’ll let the fear take the wheel and steer.” Incubus
Siddhartha choose to venture out into the scary, unfamiliar, and completely wonderfully new darkness. I hope to one day to leave the safe confines of my T.V. lit bed room and crystal clear water for the pitch black darkness of the outside world.
Mickaela, I definitely agree with you that the future may be a a dark, scary, and unfamiliar thing but maybe you can explain what it is you are looking for that may or may not lead you to that "scary" thing. Also, i liked your quote about letting the fear take the wheel and steer. Nicely done.
It is scary, isn't it? It's really is hard to step into a life where stability isn't a constant. It's scary to not know what's going to happen next. People go toward the stability because they aren't brave enough to face the dark waters of the unknown. However, it's never fun to always stay in the shallow parts of the pool. Would the lack of stability that eventually falls into place be more satisfying than playing the safety card? It's always nice to work find what you're looking for; especially if you didn't even know you were looking for it.
I completely agree with you. If my life was a constant carousel of normal comfortable circumstances I would go insane. I often get stuck in routines. That rush that you get from jumping into a pool without feeling the water first is so exciting and I hope to use that analogy in my everyday decision making. Without fear ,where’s the fun?
I’ve always suddenly come up with the idea of what will I be or what will I do in the future when I’m alone. But sadly, the answer was never to be found. In my memories, my parents were always guiding me about the paths I’m taking, the choices I’m making. I felt like the life I lived was theirs, not mine. I wanted to be able to handle my own things. And the time is now slowly but also steadily coming.
Now I’m here, a senior in Arcadia High School, preparing to attend college in less than a year. In my thoughts, college was the type of thing that I thought was never going to come to me.
Well, at least not that fast. (We all tend to procrastinate a bit as teenagers)
As the day of departure drawing more towards me every second, I started to deliberately think about what I want instead of what my parents want. I know what I am interested in, but I could never find that passion within it. Maybe that is what I am looking for when I attend college, maybe this is what I am looking for when I live my own life.
I think my parents might face a little hardship when it is the time for me to leave and go on with my life but that is an essential part of human life, knowing that the loved ones are leaving. They will have to accept the fact that I will no longer be the little boy anymore. I will and need to be responsible for myself, finally.
When the time comes, learning to accept is far more important than sentimentally attached to the past.
In my opinion, the decision of Siddhartha’s father is not really about wise or not, it is about overcoming the sadness or no. When Siddhartha started to stood there like a statue, his mind was already gone and it took days for his father to realize that his beloved son was only a body without soul. Eventually, his father had to let go of his son, no matter what his decisions were.
I admire Siddhartha’s decision. He did something that I never thought of doing as a teenager. That is, living on his own without any family support and financial support. If it comes down to choose between to leave or no under the given circumstances, I think I would bow down to money instead of leaving the nest that nurtured me like Siddhartha did. In modern world, money is the thing that drives people crazy. I’m not the type of person who would go frenzy for money, but I do certainly need it. It has numerous usages, but the one thing and most important thing is that it keeps you alive. Being alive allows us to keep on searching in our life, and money definitely plays a huge role.
Do I know what I’m looking for? Honestly, it is a simple question however, the best I can tell is I do not know yet. I have not yet found the passion in life. I believe most teenagers live the life that their parents wanted them to live. Same as me, I still have to do things in my parent’s way, still have to follow the rules, and still have to obey commands.
But once I started to live on my own, I’m sure the answer would be much more transparent compare to now. I believe this is the reason why Siddhartha left his hometown and went on the expedition of truth.
My parents also have always guided me. Although I've said no, they still try. I also used to feel that my parents were living through me. I kind of felt like a robot. But, they did finally accept the fact that I'm my own person. They stopped pestering me about how I want to live. I choose what I want, not my parents. Siddhartha was also able to choose what he wanted and overcome his father. His father was forced to give up in the face of his stubbornness.
"Only a body without a soul" really spoke to me. I'm starting to notice people more often doing things without really thinking, like when the bell rings they just leave, they answer to a bell, it’s scary. It’s good that you’re also honest about money. In modern society there is no doubt that most of us will use money in order to continue our journey.
The friendship between Govinda and Siddhartha is something quite unique, yet it is one that may easily be found in all friendships. Like many others, Govinda holds a great amount of respect for his childhood friend, loving “his intellect… his strong will” and even his “eyes, clear voice, and the way he walked” (2). Siddhartha is kind hearted and simply comforts anyone around him with happiness. Though he himself is unhappy and discontent, he seems perfect in all possible ways to any pair of eyes that lay upon him.
Govinda proves incredible loyalty towards his best friend going beyond what an ordinary friend would do but his choice in following Siddhartha as “his shadow” is in fact a mistake and an unhealthy decision (2).
I believe that each and every single person has a different path in life, one that will often meet and intersect with other ones but will never be identical to any other. The day Siddhartha told Govinda “may you go along [your path] to the end, my friend… may you find salvation” is probably the greatest thing a friend can do for another.
Throughout my early high school years, I have had the experience of meeting many, many amazing, intelligent, and talented people. While some of my friends accomplished things I could never imagine possible, I stood watching silently and hopelessly. I wanted to go to the very best colleges like them, wherever the hell that may be. I wanted to become an intern at some important place like them. I wanted to do this and that like them. I wanted to do just about everything exactly like them. The relationship between Siddhartha and Govinda is not far from what we see everyday on campus… People trying to find themselves in other people.
As junior year came to an end, I wondered what are all these great people striving for… Do they know exactly what they want out life? Are they really that much better than me or do I just suck at everything?
What I have learned was that many people do not know anymore than Siddhartha searching for something he does not even know. With that in mind, I realized how is it then even possible for me to gain something from nothing, especially on a path of life that is not my own.
At the start of high school, I would have made the same decision as Govinda, following the exact path of someone I looked up to. With little confidence in myself, the desire to hang on to something was an easy, comforting way to know that I may just make it in life.
It is not like that anymore. I had let go my grip a bit to find out what I like to do. I did not want to be another one of the four thousand students at Arcadia High School just like how Govinda does not want to be “a Brahmin like ten thousand others” (2). I now have my own dreams and I do not need to look to anyone to understand that.
It was hard to trust myself and just to completely let go of that grip but it will eventually happen one way or the other like how it does for Govinda. It is in all of our best interest to embrace ourselves for who we are and just go for it, full speed… your way, however you want it to be because in the end, we will never be able to be anyone else but ourselves.
There are remarkable things in each and every individual and my only hope is that they learn to see that in themselves as well.
Very well constructed and smooth transitions from a solely-analytic viewpoint, to your own story, to a combination of personal story and Siddhartha references (one that stuck out was 'I did not want to be another one of the four thousand students at Arcadia High School just like how Govinda does not want to be “a Brahmin like ten thousand others” (2)'). I am happy for you as you changed from being a follower to being your own self and leading your life for how you see fit; becoming your own role model. Truly an accomplishment, bravo!
I really enjoyed reading through your post. I can relate to the things you've said. It's crazy how easy it can be to lose yourself for a bit and forget who you really are. Trusting yourself is definitely key in being able to move forward.
I think your post is awesome! I agree with you on how its hard to trust yourself, but you have to. If you don't trust yourself completely all your goals you are trying to achieve are going to be much harder. Believe in yourself, everyone has the potential to do what they want. Including you.
What is happiness?
Is it non-stop tinker-toy joy? Playing ‘Mommy’ with your dolls Janie and Mary?
Showing off your remote control RCX truck? Receiving a lock-up diary for Christmas?
Playing Battlefield Bad Company with your buddies? Going window shopping at the mall with your girlfriends?
Taking your high school sweetheart to prom? Going to prom with your high school hubby?
Going to college?
Earning a job?
Happiness is different for everyone and everything. Happiness changes for everyone by the day, by the hour, by the minute. There is never one single moment in time, never one single tangible object, which results in true happiness. There is only a goal. There is only a dream.
I live with my mom; a single, hard-working mom that moved to America in pursuit of the American Dream, who just relieved her daughter of her home duties and commitments to study Politics and English at NYU… and she has one more coming. I have my dad; a man who moved to America alone at the age of 12 and has worked ever since high school graduation. The two are very different when it comes to character and personality, but one thing is certain: they will do anything for their children to see the days of college education, experience, and a tomorrow worth waking up to.
That is their goal. That is their dream.
That is their happiness.
I live between two core ideals provided by mom and dad: preparation and experience... respectively. The marathon that was junior year had just ended, only to be followed by the dreaded cool-down of college applications, essays, and as a Music Production Technology applicant, hours and hours upon hours of practicing and recording music. Mom prepared me: she stayed on my back about working diligently, effectively, persistently, and without margin for error. She called me from work every hour during summer asking her routine of what I’m doing, how I’m doing, and did I get anything done. A bit annoying, albeit harassing, but a mother’s love for her child is unconditional. It was to be expected.
I love her for it. She is my mother.
However, my dad let me be.
One time I was cooking with my dad at home, just the two of us. It was my first time; I was eager and excited, yet inexperienced and ignorant. I held the pan and tossed the searing garlic and cooking wine like the pro I was, and I burned myself. Noticing, he took the pan from my hand, and with a “this is how you do it” look, tossed the ingredients over and over with such grace and fluidity and confidence.
“Wow! How do you do that?”
“It becomes easier when you keep doing it.”
Similar to Mr. Feraco’s father, mine believes in experience and personal style. He has me learn all the wonders, experience all the consequences, and live all the truths and lies that life has to offer, only for me to choose my own path the way I want to walk it.
I love him, too. He is my father.
… but what am I looking for?
… what is my happiness?
I’ve thought about this. Everyone’s thought about this. There are always serious answers, answers filled with complexity and meaning, but none of them, for everyone, ever seems to satisfy that certain level of purpose and resolve that one looks for. It’s an interesting question, a simple question, yet the hardest question anyone will ever encounter.
I fought with myself; I tore into my mind asking this question, milking every opportunity that was presented to me in a welcoming manner with the idea of “this is what I want”.
I never found the answer.
I was never satisfied.
I was always heartbroken.
Until the day I met a certain individual. We were strangers at first, then friends, then something more. Through this individual, I had finally found my answer. I didn’t notice it at first, but as our relationship grew, it was like I just woke up from a nightmare of puzzles and stress and sadness. I feel strongly for this individual…
… and without her, I would still be lost.
Happiness is different for everyone and everything. Happiness changes for everyone by the day, by the hour, by the minute. There is never one single moment in time, never one single tangible object, which results in true happiness. There is only a goal. There is only a dream.
I will fight for what’s worth fighting for.
That is my goal. That is my dream.
That is what I am looking for.
That is my happiness.
Awww, come on Chris! At least tell us who the girl is!
In all seriousness though, I quite like your post. You have some grammatical errors, but that did not detract from you nice structure (not your physical body, but your written one). The short, concise sentences has this satisfying emphatic punch at first, but, after ten more, it became quite trite. The post is easy to read, and the message is clear.
My only gripe is that you did not elaborate too much on the girl and why she is the end goal. Did she pull you out of a burning building? Did she ask you to prom when all the girls you asked rejected you? Do you only like her because she's more intelligent, funny, and hot than all the other girls you've met? Elaborating on this super fine double would make the last part more meaning full and allow the reader to understand your stance.
But still, nice post.
I agree Matthew on some levels that it would've been nice to know a little bit more about this girl, or maybe something meaningful he did with this girl. But I disagree with you too. Although he doesn't say all that much about this girl, he gets his point across that this girl is very special to him, and everything else he didn't mention can just be assumed. We can assume that she's smart or funny because she makes him happy. Chris might like really smart or funny girls, so we can assume that if she makes him happy, she's funny or smart, maybe both. I think understanding how he really feels about her, can only be said in so many words, and I think he did that part very well.
*super fine double awesome chick
I wish this blog let you edit your posts :\
First of all, I liked your post.
Also I found this line that you wrote to be very agreeable:
"Happiness is different for everyone and everything. Happiness changes for everyone by the day, by the hour, by the minute. There is never one single moment in time, never one single tangible object, which results in true happiness. There is only a goal. There is only a dream."
I also believe that Happiness is defined differently for different people.
It was nice to hear about your family background. I also love the way you depict and express your love for your parents. I think its something that we all ought to be doing more often. We really need to outwardly show our love to our parents. They sacrifice so much for us and yet we just take them for granted. I mean, they aren't going to be with us forever, so we should really take this time to thank them.
Haha the last part about the girl was kind of cheesy, but I liked it alot. One of the things that I personally believe will bring each of us the most happiness is our other half. I hope things go well for you guys!
Thanks for the read.
Thank you for the warming response. Parents are indeed important, yet I see a lot people still disregarding the seemingly non-existent actions and sacrifices they make for us everyday, such as going to work and making money to provide for our much needed phone services or our much wanted... well, wants.
It's very nice to see that you agree and share with me the mentality of happiness. It's a slippery fellow, happiness.
Thank you for your wishes, as I hope it does work out with me and my "other half"! I, too, believe that that certain special someone can bring about happiness in each of our lives.
Chris, I love the way you wrote this. I love the questions at the beginning ultimately leading up to the question of what you are looking for. I think you organized this very well, and you added in personal experiences very smoothly. Everything felt concise and smooth, nothing seemed out of place. There's nothing I can criticize about your post. Good job!
Chris, I loved the beginning of the post with your examples. I loved how you defined happiness because its different for all of us. The fact that you talked about both your parents is also really good because they are a huge part in our lives. The only thing is that the girl part was cheesy and I wish you kind of went into more detail because this girl must be special to be your happiness, we would all like to hear more about it.
To clear things up with the concluding part of my post, I've made the individual anonymous and the story brief in this blog for a number of reasons. I apologize if I disappointed some readers, but even though she IS very important to me and plays as a big contributor to my happiness no doubt, I find that me elaborating on something of a love story would be irrelevant and off topic to what the teacher intended for us to discuss and comment upon. I make this clear: I focused on how she affected me in finding my answer to happiness rather than focus upon how she's the butter to my bread. It's cheesy, I know, but I had the need to say it as all that has been said and done is true, and I would indeed still be lost without having her entered my life.
Thank you for all the kind responses!
Chris, good job! I liked the way you defined happiness and your explanation on the changes you undergo to find "true happiness." You did really well providing us with your background as an example to make your point in relevance to the mind set of Mr. Feraco's father. Very well written!
Although I'm not in SFHP, I'm gonna comment anyway
I really liked reading your story, and how you built upon the stories with you parents and about your hectic junior year, leading up to finding your own happiness. I also thought the fact you wrote about someone who means a lot to you was really sweet, for lack of a better word.
Thank you!! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and reflect on my post despite us being in two different classes (and courses). I've also read your post and I have nothing to offer but fireworks and confetti; really nice work. Thanks again!
Hey Chris, your post was a nice read. It was organized well, and I liked the way that you led into your topic.
I really liked the way you introduced your parents how how they played into your life, and what happiness meant to them and how it ties in with you.
I find that your version of happiness is very interesting, I've never actually thought of happiness that way. I agree that happiness is different for everyone, and the fact you elaborated the difference between you and parents was a nice touch.
Chris your post really helped me understand how far you're willing to go to find what makes you happy. On top of that, talking about the supportive structure built up of family and a significant other adds the touch of how high your confidence level is. It would have been a more interesting read if you added more about your person of interest like Matthew said, but besides that I can't find anything I'd like to complain about.
I genuinely liked your post. I liked the fact that you talked about not only your happiness, but your parents' as well. Everyone's happiness/goal is definitely different. I thought it was well structured and I would like congratulate you on finding your happiness.
I believe that Siddhartha’s father made the right decision when he let go of him. Siddhartha was already gone spiritually, and keeping him there would only cause damage. I believe that if I were in his shoes I would let him go. I want my children to be able to make their decisions, to make their own path in life. I don’t want to force them to stay or to go to a certain college. I don’t want to ‘live life’ through them; they aren’t me. They should be allowed to think for themselves.
On the other hand, Govinda makes what I think is an unwise decision. Rather than plotting out his own route, he’s just going to follow Siddhartha. In my opinion it is better to be a leader than to be led. Sure it’s important to have people who are led so I guess it is wise for him. If it makes him happy then who are we to judge? To each their own. It is only my opinion that being a leader is better so I would not make such a decision. Instead I would part ways, maybe keep in contact, but I would choose my own path.
What am I looking for? Well I plan on being a teacher when I grow up (a math teacher specifically). I want to help people and make an impact so I feel that being a teacher would work the best for me. I enjoy teaching people and I usually try my best when someone asks me for help. I’m lazy yet I’m willing to help others with homework. Even if we have the same homework I won’t take my own out and work along, I would just help. Yes it’s sad how lazy I am. But, it puts into perspective how much I enjoy teaching math. I want to teach well enough that my future students are able to look at a problem and instantly know the shortest way to do it. Although I’ve heard teachers don’t have the best salaries, I don’t care. I’ll do what makes me happy. I’ll cut my own path in life.
Oh man Arthur, I've known you since middle school and never knew that you'd want to be a teacher.
But this is pretty good writing: you were able to convey what your believe in and how that belief affects your goal(s) in life.
I don't think I've told many people so I wouldn't be surprised. I think I've only told like three people. But yeah I want to be a math teacher; it's my goal. It's what I'm aiming for and why I am going to college.
Like Matt, I did not think that you might want to become a teacher. For how you value educating others and wanting to pursuit it as a career, it certainly seems like you will be heading towards success.
I also agree that for the reasons that Govinda is following Siddhartha, he should have parted ways and sought after his own path rather than shadowing his friend, prolonging his own search.
Hey Arthur I really admire the part where you wrote that you want to be a teacher. In my opinion, being a teacher is a hard job because you have to be able to let the children like you but at the same time also teach them. Good luck on the path you choose!
Wow, you should of told me before that you wanted to be a teacher. Anyway, when did you start wanting to be a teacher? I hope you enjoy the career you picked.
Ever since we were little kids, we all dreamed of what we were going to be when we grew up. But, being kids, we never really understood the reality of it all.
Growing up as an only child, my parents wanted me to have the very best education possible. To them, that was private school. They put me into a very small school in Duarte called Anita Oaks and that’s where my journey began.
Anita Oaks was great. I would wake up every single day so excited for school. I loved it.
Because the school was so small, the class was like a family. We were all expected to grow up and become well educated and good natured human beings. I can still remember the day when the teachers asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and unlike my classmates who wanted to be astronauts, basketball players, or super heroes, I said, “I want to be an accountant just like my mom!” My mom was and still is my idol.
When I was nearing the end of fourth grade, Anita Oaks was struggling financially and consequently the education began to struggle as well. My parents made a decision to transfer me to a different private school in Arcadia, called Barnhart. I was scared and I most definitely did not want to leave my friends at Anita Oaks, but I had no choice. Moving wasn’t an option.
Just like anything new, it was scary at first, but it got better and I adjusted to the new school. I learned to love it, and made lifelong friends there. It well prepared me for my high school experience, but once again, unlike my classmates, I made a decision that was almost unheard of at Barnhart. I decided it would be best for me to go to public school. My parents supported this for two reasons: Arcadia High School is probably just as good, if not better, than any private school and it's free. This would allow for them to save money for my college tuition, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I made this decision.
I never thought of how big of an adjustment this was going to be, but I found out the hard way. Going from a class of only forty students to a class of almost one thousand is a very, very big change. But, it was for the better. It broke me free from my tiny private school life and showed me the reality of the world.
I was stranded and lost in a chaotic sea of people, but found my way and learned how to swim. Now graduation is drawing nearer and I will need to know exactly where I’m swimming to and what I’m looking for when I get there. We, much like Siddhartha, are all in search for something in our lives, but we don’t know exactly what it is yet. I’m not like most people and I never will be. I am making another decision that is very different from what my classmates are doing with their lives. I am choosing to move to the Philippines in search of happiness, love, and anything else that may come my way.
Being that my whole family lives there, this choice allows me to be closer to them as well as to get a good education. I know it will be the biggest decision and adjustment of my life, but I am ready for it.
Sometimes you have to swim against the current in search of something great.
I really admire how you make your decision of moving back to the Philippines. I hope you find your happiness and everything you're looking for over there. I wish you the best of luck!
Hey I really like your attitudes toward moving from school to school, you have a optimistic view of life unlike some people that would gone crazy if they heard the word "moving". I believe you will adapt well when you move to Philippines, good luck !
Wow, I really respect your decision to move back to the Philippines in search for your happiness and all that comes with it. Although I am searching for something similar, even I don't have the courage to move to another country. I hope you find what you're looking for and best of luck!
Great insight on going against the current in search of what you truly want. I too have considered moving back to my roots, but my decision to go wavers much more in comparison. I guess I don't know exactly what I want yet.
Truly optimistic, as well as a creative theme.
The theme you made about the current and sea of people, I can relate to because I am a swimmer. Your post truly interested me on the first paragraph.
Thank you for your insight, it truly opened my eyes to how I should view the world now.
In a way, I completely understand how it feels when you're moving from a small school to a much larger one. But you had a positive view towards it; I had a negative one.
Your last line struck me hard. Amazing job.
Do you know what you’re looking for?
Do I know what I'm looking for? That's a question that I ask of myself many times. With senior year on the way and with all the complications of college apps and SATs I often forget my reason for doing all this.
It feels like I'm in a situation where I blindly work myself to reach an unknown goal. I don't know if it is attending a well known college, getting a well paying job, receiving recognition from my peers, or some other random reason that I'm able to motivate myself to this point. It might have been the pressure that my parents placed on me or the expectations that I held for myself, but at one point I was truly lost.
However, now I realize most of what I'm looking for.
I'm not the immature 9th grader whose aspiration was to study hard, enter a career path that is well paying and reach financial stability so that I could laze around as an adult. As a 17 year old senior, my desire to follow a certain career path is not determined by the amount of cash that I can earn, but by how much joy I receive from pursuing the path. I feel importance in following a career path that gives me happiness. I mean, what good is a high paying job that you're not happy with, right?
How do I know that I've reached my desire?
That is another question that constantly lingers in my head. Is it establishing a family? Is it reaching the" American Dream" or is it getting to a point where all I can do is stop?
But, I think that I've found the answer to the question as well. When I find myself at a point where I'm satisfied with my life, however its condition may be, I will know then that I've reached my desire.
Do I know what I'm looking for? In a way yes, although not fully.
Who knows, maybe going to college will make it even more clear.
At first I too felt as though I didnt know what I was working for or towards. Lately, however, things have gotten much clearer to me. I know what I want to do with my life and I know what will make me happy. But I find it hard to fully believe in my 17 year old self. I'm positive my views will change once I go to college but i cant help but wonder if it'll be for the better.
I really like the fact that you're going to do something that makes you happy. Fancy cars and fancy houses aren't anything if you're not happy. Keep it up!
I really like your comparison with "an unknown goal." It got me thinking and I too have the same situation. I question what is the point of how much cash you earn. I also agree to follow the path that gives you most happiness. When I think of this situation, I think of the story "The Futile Pursuit of Happiness." I want to believe that the future I want will give me great happiness, but I know in my heart that happiness comes to people differently than others.
I just have one question. How do you know when you found the desire? I quite didn't understand that part.
Other than that, motivative post!
Sorry if I was unclear on that part.
What I was trying to convey was that we( well, at least for me) will realize that we've reached our true desires and goals once we feel satisfied.
No matter how our life's situation may be, if we feel satisfied with the life we lived and the way we lived it, I believe that's when we can know that we've reached our goal. Sorry, I don't know if that clarified it for you.
Thanks for the comment!
Personally, I think Siddartha’s father made the right choice. He, like every other parent, feared the obstacles and hardships awaiting Siddartha. Most of us grew up with parents always “babying” us left and right. These past 18 years, they’ve become accustomed to waking up knowing that we, their babies, are sleeping soundly in the room across from them. Now imagine how hard it would be when they wake up and we’re gone.
I think in a way some of us, if not most, were raised in a sheltered environment. As Mr. Feraco’s, our parents raised us to believe, we would go through elementary, then junior high, move onto high school, college, and keep moving forward. So simple. It’s like finishing one assignment and moving on to the next. And then, high school slapped me in the face. Definitely wasn’t as I expected at all.
What am I looking for? Well, like every other teenage girl, I’m looking for that Hollywood movie ending. Finish high school, go to college, friendzone a guy sitting next to me in class and end up marrying him, have a two kids, part time nurse/soccer mom, grow old, and die at the same time as my husband. Odds of that happening are the same as discovering Narnia in my closet. I’m still going to go for it though because that really is what I aim for. Maybe not exactly as I put it, but somewhere along the line.
I agree with you. Our parents would always shelter us and in their eyes we are still their babies no matter how old we get. I'm also glad that you have a goal. Doesn't matter if your goal is to be a movie star or get an A on that test, its still a goal. And whenever you set a goal another one arises. So keep it up! achieve all your goals.
****And whenever you achieve a goal another one arises. So keep it up! achieve all your goals.
I could not agree more. I to was slapped in the face by our friend Mr. high school.
But as for your dream I don't think you should just dismiss it as a dream and no matter what it takes reach your dreams and smack high school right back.
“ I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold
I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good.” – Kid Cudi
I’m a senior now. Hard to believe. In one year, I will be off at college. I will be away from home. I will finally be on my own. I will finally be a man.
My parents worked so hard to get me to this point. Despite the disappointments and setbacks, they are still my parents and I am still their son. They don’t want to lose me. I can tell by the way my dad always tries to get me to go to Cal Poly Pomona next year so that I’ll be close to home. My parents are scared to lose me. But in the end, they’ll realize that they will. They will realize that I will have to go my own way and that I’ll have to set my own path and my own destiny. Like Siddhartha’s father, mine will accept the fact that I will leave. I know that my dad will be happy for me, whatever path I choose.
Can I say the same for myself? Happiness can be found in the most random and strange places. Sometimes the answer is so obvious, it’s literally right in front of your face. It was for me.
For years, I have tried to find what makes me happy. I’ve tried many things, not drugs though because drugs are bad (I still remember that Ms. Leahy!). Throughout high school, the only thing I wanted was to be “good” as Kid Cudi says. I just wanted to have that one constant thing that would make me happy; the one thing that I could always go back to and would always take me out of my misery. I can say that my PS3 was not the answer. Neither were the hours I spent on playing various online RPG games. No person ever was that happiness. The answer was right in front of me. Well I guess below me.
The answer was in those beat up Saucony shoes that were sitting there in my garage. Those dirty, worn out, yet surprisingly comfortable shoes that had literally run up mountains with me.
People don’t really get why I did cross country as a freshman. People are surprised that I stuck around for this long. People don’t get why I actually like to run in the rain, why I would put up with O’Brien, why I would wake up when they finally turn off the X-Box to go out and run. I’ll admit, I’m not even all that fast. Yet, it has always been that one constant. I knew that running would never fail to make me happy. It wasn’t like I was running away from my problems. More like, I was Juggernaut and my problems were doors that I was running through and smashing down. It cleared my mind, it allowed me to think, it put me at peace. Because of it, I was able to be more confident in attacking my problems. It also didn’t hurt that the guys I ran with were some of my best friends.
The future is scary. I never know what’s going to happen. I don’t even know if I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and be in Mr. Feraco’s class. I don’t really like to think about the future. I don’t really have a dream school like many others. When people ask, I always give them a different school. I have a rough idea for a future career. I have absolutely no idea if I’m even going to enjoy college. There are many things about the future that I have absolutely no clue about.
I do know one thing. I can always go back to that one thing. I can always lace up those running shoes and go out for an hour, two hours, 6 miles, 10 miles, you name it. It was what kept me sane in the darkest days of high school. It will keep me sane in the darkest days of college. I know that I’ll never run away from my problems, but I’ll run through them like King Kong destroying a bunch of buildings. It will always be my one constant.
Totally irrelevant to anything, but I was listening "The Pursuit of Happiness" as I came upon your post. So that was pretty epic.
For me I think the future is exciting. Don't get me wrong though, you're still right. The future is as petrifying as a basilisk's reflection. (Harry Potter reference) But I like to see the future as a surprise, for SOME things. Knowing everything that's going to happen the next day makes for a really boring tomorrow.
Chris, your post is well-written. I agree with you when you stated that "happiness can be found in the most random and strange places." What makes one person happy may seem odd to someone else, as you exemplified in your cross country example. Personally, I would not find happiness by joining cross country, since I do not enjoy running for long distances. However, I'm glad you realized running is your passion. You also stated that you think the future is scary. While the future may seem intimidating, I believe it is best to view it more optimistically and to embrace it. The future holds many opportunities for you to find contentment by pursuing your interests.
I really like your post! And just reading it makes me feel happy for you I feel like you've got a strong hold of your future and you're absolutely right! Sometimes the answer does seem too obvious, and most the time, it's the simplest things what can make us the happiest !
Hahaha, I had Ms. Leahy too! I love how you have cross country as your go-to sport because I completely understand how people don't understand your rainy runs and hard training, because band is the same in terms of hard training and trying to improve no matter what conditions we may face.
In terms of you thinking about your future, the fact that you know that you already have an idea of that you want is already a step forward. Not everyone has to have a dream school and having a broad list of what you want could be better for you.
Chris I love how you used cross country in your post, not because I ran with you this summer, but because it helps me understand what you're really trying to say. And if it can help me, I'm sure it can help others. I like how you used a song to help you as well. I think overall your post can relate to anyone very easily, and very well.
I really like how you found something that you “can always go back to”. I think it is really important for everyone to find that one thing because that is what keeps us sane. That is the thing that helps us cope with life and what not.
There are various magnitudes of parent types. But most common are the ones like Siddhartha’s father, the indifferent guardian, the abusive stepfather, the go-team soccer mom, the “cram quantum physics down their child’s throat” tiger mom, and etcetera. Parental figures like these always impose on their kid rules, restrictions, and expectations. My own parents, however, have never done anything of the sort: they are lax and liberal when it comes to nurturing their children.
“Matthew, do you want ice cream before dinner? Matthew, you can finish your times table later; let’s go play at the park.”
They continued to spoil their kids even when they were teenagers.
“Just because it’s a Monday doesn’t mean you can’t go out with your friends and have a movie marathon. Matthew, who cares if you only got a C.”
They never forced me to do anything I was uncomfortable with, and never asked for anything above and beyond.
It was in mid-junior year after winter break that I began to think about college and beyond. Should I go out of state, major in Biology, and work in the labs after graduation? Should I go to a local college, transfer to a four year, proceed onto some type of medical school, and practice dentistry, optometry, or etc. in Alaska? Or should I just forget about a higher education all together and become a troubadour, playing for spare change in the recesses of NYC’s streets and subways. I mulled over these questions throughout the year and summer break, but still had no direction and no goal.
I remember it last week when I was sitting our living room, reading The Brahmin’s Son, and listening to the pitter patter of the summer rain, which felt odd and out of place this early in the year. I got to the scene with Siddhartha’s “I’m not moving until you gimme this” going away scene, and I can’t help feeling a little envious of Siddhartha. His parental figure actually gives him a path to walk. Doing the exact opposite of Sidd, I ask my parents where they wanted me to go and what they wanted me to do. Even though I had already expected as much, they replied with:
“Our decision for your future is your decision for your future.”
Don’t get me wrong; I love my parents. But with so much liberty and nonexistent constraint, I think it’s safe to say that most teenagers my age and in my situation would yearn for some sort of guidance and some sort of tether to the mother ship before we get forever lost in the opaque void.
So is having the freedom to chart your own path a boon?
Siddhartha would most certainly say so, but people like me would most certainly disagree. And here I have found some of the wisdom Sidd here may have wanted all along: people are never content with what they have and always want what they don’t.
But what do I know, I’m still a teenager.
Hi Matthew. Wow your parents seem really cool. They let you eat ice cream before dinner. Did you choose to eat ice cream before dinner? If you didn’t, that is amazing I don’t know what kid could have made such a mature decision, to eat ice cream after dinner. But if you didn’t and ate it before, we understand. To a certain extent I agree that we are not content with what we have and will always want what we don’t have after all we are just a part of something even larger.
I think it's really great how you acknowledge that holding the reins to your own fate can great, but you also recognize that you may be blind to the possible repercussions simply because you're young. The anecdote about various types of strict, rigid parents was also pretty fun to read.
You also have really rad parents, from the looks of it.
Great job, man!
Can we trade parents..?
Don’t take me the wrong way, I adore my mom, but sometimes she can be overwhelming. Your parents seem so chill! Not only do they give you encouragement, but praises too! I wish my mom would give me encouragements when I decide to take on a few AP classes; instead she questions me if I can handle the work load.
I do agree with that “some sort of guidance and some sort of tether to the mother ship before we get forever lost in the opaque void” is crucial, but there should be a limit. A problem with that is most parents don’t know what the limit is.
Your arguments are interesting and well said! It somewhat changed my perspective on parents.
Wow I wish I had parents like you. Growing up I was always told to do this or to do that. I'd like to make decisions for myself just to see what it would be like and to see what would happen. I guess guidance from parents is somewhat necessary but too much is also not good.
Honestly Matt, I think you know a lot. What I think is really interesting is the fact that your parents let you decide what you want. My parents always wanted for me to be a doctor, but its just not my thing. Like Mary said, “they don’t know what the limit is”…Well, regardless, excellent post !
In all these 17 years I’ve been in my own mind and body, I still don’t have quite a large grasp of what I want in life. Am I searching for something to enlighten me or find my way into the world? Most of the time I just end up not thinking about what I want to do with my life or what I want to achieve. Throughout the years, I have always pushed these thoughts away and replaced them with, "Oh, I have 'til senior year" or, more frequently, "I am still many days away and summer still lies ahead!”. Alas here I am, in my senior year and still don’t have a clue of what I actually want to do when I graduate. Somehow, I know that going to college and leaving my home where I’ve been nurtured and cared for my whole life is the key. Somewhere in the deep depths of my mind, a voice suddenly hits me and tells me that I have to move out and experience life for itself instead of being sheltered because reality isn’t forgiving.
So eventually, I’d have to apply to college and move out of the house and try to live my life my own way, not the way my parents want have set up for me. Just like Siddhartha, my parents want to guide me but the most they said to me was I have to go to college. Most people know what they’re doing in college but for me, all I know is that I must go to college. I don’t even have a drive that tells me you must major in this or that, but all I know is it won’t be heavily math related. In a way, I’m doing the same thing as Siddhartha, I’m abandoning my shelter and heading out in hopes of finding something or even someone that will guide me towards what I am looking for, although I’m not sure what it may be yet. Albeit I’m not sure what I’m looking for yet, I know that college is the way to go since it provides the freedom and uncertainty for me to get inspired to do something worthwhile, whether it be giving back to the community in a form or accomplishing great things. After all, if you know what you’re looking for, where’s the fun in that?
oh, it's Boris.
So, I can easily relate to your situation and have constantly contemplated the issue of college majors/future planning, but having no path in life is no way to go. I used to lead a carefree life, yet if you think about it, we're all seniors and all working towards the same goal: survival of the fittest. If applying undecided, chances are colleges will question your candidacy. Whatever mark you want to leave in the world mainly starts now.
Yeah, I'm stressing about seeing what I should apply for and I maybe have a clue of what I want may it be a history major or language. After all we all have to start somewhere.
I agree! Isn't it crazy how senior came so fast? I remember being young and seeing my siblings apply and head off for college. The mere sight scared me so much but I the many years I had until then comforted me a bit. But now the time has come. I feel it passed with the blink of an eye. I hope you find what you're looking for.
Hi Boris! I really love how you're so honest about your insecurities about your life. It's okay, almost every senior is thinking the exact same thing as you! No one really knows what their future is exactly, so I really appreciate that last sentence; it's like a "come at me" attitude to the future!
“Define Happiness for me, would you?” A silent question raised up when the kid told me he just wants to be happy for whatever things he is going to do in the future.
However, I didn’t ask that out loud. I didn’t dare. I am afraid he says the horrible but common phrase “I don’t know.” And I wouldn’t know what to give him.
What is “happiness” ? What makes us happy? Why do we feel happy? How do we feel happy? Do we really feel happy? Is “happiness” what Siddhartha sought after?
Thinking about the moments that I actually felt happy, I pondered. I am confused. I expect to be “happy” if my report card says 4.0 for once. But how long will that “happiness” last? Five minutes? Two days? A week? Three Months? Gilbert made a interesting conclusion- we don’t really feel the emotional happiness when we expected to be happy; It is just brain signal when what we expected actually happened. So when I expect that 4.0 will make me happy, I actually regulate my brain to set up a signal that will gives me the emotion of “happiness” when the 4.0 actually happens.
If you say a brand new Porsche will make your life perfect, then you are wrong. If you think the moment you get the acceptance from Harvard will be your happiest day in life, then you are wrong. If you think earning the fattest check will make you more pleased, then you are wrong again. It’s the unknown, the prediction. When I fail to adapt to the new circumstances and ignore the golden and shiny, I started to make different hypothesis. “If I worked hard and get a 4.0, I wouldn’t have to worry about being rejected now.” “If I do this and that, then I will be happier than right now.” Brand new Porsche, Harvard acceptance and the fattest check will not make you any happier than you are now. They are the illusion we people create for ourselves, so our brain can regulate the ordinaries and give off illuminants to trick us.
As Gilbert proposed, the only true “happiness” existed in the golden and shiny- social interaction, friendships, family. The friendship between Siddhartha and Govinda is what we need to cherish. I remember my once best friend. She and I were friends like forever, from kindergarten to middle school. Both of our parents know each other. We would have sleepover all the time. We talked about different things about school, family , friends. It just seems so nature to trust her on everything. I don’t remember we had any big fights. But if you ask me, will we go to the same college if we are still together in high school. I will tell you no. I cherish my relationship with her. I feel “real” happy around her. I don’t need to make predictions. Because I know what will happen. It’s the unknown, the prediction again. But this time it’s the vice versa. As we split apart, going off to different route, the relationship will still remain between me and her. And that’s “happiness”. It’s something that will last forever, and you will smile when you think about it.
Siddhartha goes off to look for something. He doesn’t know what he is looking for. He made a prediction. He thinks if he stays with the Samana and practices self- denial will bring him the truth: to understand Self. And yet, he isn’t pleased. He doesn’t understand it. Instead, what the Samanas has taught him is to escape Self. Is he looking for “happiness”? Indeed, he is in a sense. The unpleasantness of unknown bothers him. When Buddha comes to his town and preach, Siddhartha and Govinda decides to leave the Samana and follow the Buddha. But something happens. Siddhartha goes off alone; Govinda stays with the Buddha. He and Govinda are now walking on the different routes. It’s the unknown, the prediction once again. As Govinda settles with the ordinary and security under the teaching of Buddha, Siddhartha faces the unknown again. But this time, he only has himself...True “happiness” only happens between people. This is where he meet Kamela, the first beautiful woman he encountered without lowering his eyes. The Tom-Summer style relationship somehow someway just doesn’t last long. But “happiness” remaines. Memories with Kamela were cherished by Siddhartha.
“People are children.” We like the unknown; we like to poke our head into the darkness and take a peak. We fear the unknown; when the circumstances failed, our expectation of “happy” is blew away. “Happiness” is the one that remains as we grow even the logic doesn’t apply and no mathematical formula is there to find out the truth.
I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts about happiness. I like how you expressed your passion for life and views through your own personal experience with a childhood friend.
But maybe, you can help me tie together the idea of human expectations and happiness. It was overall very detailed but hopefully after your explanation, I can gain a better understanding of how one may influence the other.
Though a new Porsche, a 4.0 GPA, and an acceptance letter to Harvard are not your idea of happiness, is it possible for it to be someone else's happiness?
What are some things that will bring you happiness? I like how you mentioned the strong value of “social interaction, friendships, and family” because I know that has always and will always remain true but how about our goals and dreams in life? Is it really true that “true happiness only happens between people”?
Though I agree with you that the amount of happiness varies from all different type of rewards, accomplishments, and opportunities in life but what if my dream is to go Harvard next fall, would you say that that is nothing more than an illusion I have created?
My family and friends are without a doubt, the reason for most of my happiness but there are just so many other things in life that makes me smile helplessly everyday.
What are your goals and dreams? What is your dream college? Would the happiness in finding out that you have been accepted to that school be any less real than the happiness gained from your family and friends?
You ended your thoughts with an interesting quote “People are children” and said, “We like to poke our heads into the darkness and take a peak” but I was a bit confuse when you later mentioned that “we fear the unknown when circumstances fail”. Do you mean to say that after multiple times of failing, we grow to fear what will happen here on out and become less ambitious? Is it possible that failure may be a person’s motivation?
I hope I did not ask too much or offend you in any way, as it was never my intention to so. My questions are more of thoughts rather than questions. I honestly enjoyed reading this because it opened my eyes to many different paths in life, which never seems to ever have one definite answer. So, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.
It was surely not offensive at all. I was waiting for someone to question my perspective. And here you are. You are AWESOME! (Happy Face)
As for "Happiness," I value it in a whole new level that I take New Porsche, Harvard Acceptance are more of ambitions. It might give you fulfillment, but surely not "Happiness." I regard "Happiness" as something more internal and intuitive. On the other hand, circumstances create ambitions and give off fulfillment. But if someone is fulfilled by their dreams, doesn't necessarily make them happy. And it happened to be the popular theme for movies. Remember seeing those movies that when a rich guy has everything but "happiness". After all that hard work, he realizes what he truly wants is just someone to love, or someone who loves him, which brings in the interactions, relationship, thus "Happiness".
Well, as for the ending statements, "we fear the unknown; when the circumstances failed, our expectation of 'happy' is blew away." Psychologically, human tend to go through the five stages of grief (denial, bargaining, anger, depression and finally acceptance) after "each circumstances fails". I am not saying that if we fall once, we will never stand up. Of course Life doesn't give up, only people do. But after each failure, rarely anybody will take the optimistic way realistically, right? And what I am implying here is the true human nature. But what do people usually do when their dearest fails? They are there, comforting the weak and broken. And that is where "Happiness" remained.
Sydney, it's great to know you! And don't worry about offending me. Life is a confusing word. And we all hold our own perspectives. So, it's definitely great meeting you here. And, I hope we will see each other in the dearest Feraco's class.
I hope my replies help to clarify your confusions. (I wrote that yesterday 4 am. And I read it today after school, I didn't even know what I was writing. But at least someone else understood, you understood)
Thank you Katie! That definitely cleared things up. I see exactly where you are coming from now.
What am I looking for? What do I expect? Do I even have a plan? What goal is set for myself?
I've asked myself those same questions throughout my entire life, still not knowing the answers, and probably not finding them any time soon. If I were to look into my past, I would think of myself as a foolish boy to ever think of such a quick answer to it. I once believed that as long as I stayed in school, and achieved the highest grades, I would find what I am looking for. Eventually, this led me to the thought of college holding what I was looking for. As a child, I've never really part taken into any activities. In fact, I disappeared in my middle school years, where I was sheltered in the comfort of my own home, and studying was an absolute importance. I always said to myself that I had to study for my college career. However, high school came, and everything started to change. Different hobbies started to flourish around me, as I had to choose what I wanted, so dancing and art became my choices. Through that, I started to leave my comfort zone, and many new friends started to arrive in front of me. Throughout these 3 years of high school, my life changed dramatically, but I never understood how it came to be.
Continuously, I've tricked myself into the thought that I knew where I would know what to aim for, but it never happened to show up as planned. I thought to myself that college was so far away to even be worth thinking of. Now, I am currently in my senior year, and I've lived a good 17, soon to be 18, years of my life. The end of my high school year is coming upon me and my fellow Senior class, and college is waiting upon our doorsteps. My parents have given me the freedom to choose where I wanted to go for college to major in. My life has always been run by my parents and what they wanted for me, but now I can choose what I want for my life, bringing in more pressure than I already had. The anxiety of leaving home to progress further into my life, but also leaving behind the life I built as a child is both exciting and terrifying. I still have no aim on what I want to be, and I am currently deciding between multiple of colleges. I still don't know what I am even looking for.
I've figured myself out to distinguish what I like and dislike, but I've always doubted on what I'm capable of during all this time. It never once came to my mind on how I decided on what I liked or wanted in my life, but to my surprise, everything that I've come to know, or want, came out of random timings, such as my friends, food, culture, and even my parents. I never chose who my parents would be, but yet it came by surprise and they are still my parents today. The hobbies I chose were never planned, but yet I still aim to continue those activities now. I never aimed to be any of these things, but somehow, it found me in some way, and through that chance, I came to enjoy what I have. Truthfully, I'm glad the way things turned out.
I have not yet fully experienced life yet, and I don't know what is coming in the future.
My aim is still crooked and yet I have tried multiple of times to make it straight.
No real target is in my sight, but I fire anyways.
In the end, I believe that what I'm looking for isn't something I already plan to have or achieve in the future, but to blindly guide myself and know that if I'm looking for it, it will come to me. Sometimes I feel like I'm the target, and what I am looking for is aiming for me, to come some time in the future.
Eventually, I hit something, and that something is what I've been looking for.
Things do hit at times we would never expect them to come. We always find new things about ourselves when achieve new things. Life always hands new things to you, and you take them.
It is odd to be so sheltered our whole lives, then suddenly be set into the world. The sudden freedom is paralyzing. What do we do with it?
That's for us to find out.
“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love this quote. It essentially states that, when it comes down to it, you determine your own destiny.
Scary thought huh?
How powerful our minds are truly amazes me. Every single thing we do and say—every decision made, every word spoken, every action taken, it all begins with a thought. Even if something might only cross our minds for a split second, it still crossed our minds.
Sure, others contribute in molding us to be the people that we are today. Parents guide us, teachers enlighten us, peers influence us, but when you think about it, every decision is still your own. It is still you that decides what you want to take away from each of your encounters and experiences.
No one can tell you what to think.
When I reflect on all this in terms of my future, one thing comes to mind, and that is trust. I wish I could just trust myself more when it comes to the future. Siddhartha could do it. A lot easier said than done, I get that. Think about it though. Considering how much weight thoughts carry, if you would just trust yourself with your decisions, that alone will make things a lot easier. It would allow me to have confidence in what I’m doing, to not question everything. As the saying goes: good judgment comes from experience, and experience—well that comes from poor judgment. It’s all knowledge gained. One mistake doesn’t make it the end of the world.
… Then why am I still left with so many doubts?
There really isn’t much to fear. Nothing in this life is set in stone. So why wouldn’t I take an idea and run with it? I mean, you never know until you try, right? If I don’t like it, well then I can change my mind—it’s not a crime. There’s a huge world of possibilities out there waiting to be explored, it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.
So, although I may not know just yet what I’m looking for exactly, I do find security in the fact that wherever I end up is a direct result of my own thoughts and decisions. If I just stay true to myself, in the future I should be able to look back on my life without regrets knowing that at that point in time, it was exactly what I wanted.
Nothing is by chance.
I truly enjoyed reading your post; it is something I can relate with. I wonder why I wonder about the doubts as well. It is rather frustrating when you just can’t trust yourself, and I tell myself the same thing “There really isn’t much to fear”.
Funny how life works, huh?
I'm glad you enjoyed the read. I agree! Life definitely has a sense of humor hahaha. It's all one big cycle of unending thoughts and questions. Certainly doesn't make it any easier for us to feel satisfied.
I love the quote you used by Ralph Waldo Emerson, as it is one of the many quotes about destiny and life that sticks out to me.
Your post was a fun read. The sentences were short, yet urged me to read on. Your breaks had drive and focus towards a more philosophical meaning to how life could be lived according to the decisions made by every individual.
"It is still you that decides what you want to take away from each of your encounters and experiences."
Three words: I completely agree; encounters and experiences are what shape the human being for the better or for the worse. Very well constructed, well thought out. Thanks for the feast!
Well hello there Chris!
Thank you for the kind comment and input, I appreciate it. But, you are most welcome! I'm happy that I was able to provide you with a fun read, or as you call it, "a feast." Love that by the way! Mostly because it relates to food, and food is just amazing.
For some reason, when I read this post I felt like I was walking with you somewhere and listening to your thoughts… Like inside your brain! I think that’s a really cool effect to have in writing, letting the audience feel your thoughts and emotions until they start thinking just like you! I don’t know if that makes sense. But I somehow feel like I just read your mind, which I probable did. Anyway, I definitely agree with that awesome quote, I think I read it in a book once, and things aren’t left to chance. And you’re right, every decision is ultimately up to us, no matter what our surroundings (reminds me of Gladwell’s book) and our responsibility to make the best choices. I wish you the best of luck on your journey through life and your decision making. I believe you’ll make the best choices!
I enjoy reading your post and i agree that nothing comes by chance
The concept of leaving home is too difficult for some people to grasp. Parents, friends, and the readily equipped sons and daughters will flock away from each other at a certain point in life. Some may take it lightly, but others (most) may take it in the opposite direction. The bonds we make demand that we cling to the ones that helped build the people we are today. No matter how readily equipped one is to flock away, someone is bound to lack the will to let go. May it be a parent, friend, or even a lifelong pet; the bonds being severed make it to the heart. It hurts.
Though it is hard for most people to leave home, there has always been a part of me that will always WANT to flock away from home. That isn’t to say that I have an utter resentment for my home, but what I want to achieve is best done without the guidance of my parents. All the advice instilled in me since birth to now is waiting for a vent to be released into the world. I want to see where my life goes and how it ends up; I want to do good, to find love, to enjoy the days I have on this planet. Simply put, I want to live my life. My family will always be a part of my life, but its time for my family to step away from being the foundation and start being the supporters that watch me grow up to what they raised me to be.
My thoughts are quite similar to those of Siddhartha; leaving home without much of a concrete goal of what I’m looking for. But this is the mindset of every young adult going into the world. We never know what the real world has in store for us, but we still take that leap into it. No matter how strong the bond you have with home is, there will always be a force stronger that pulls you away; the force that seeks enlightenment, fulfillment, and, ultimately, happiness.
I think we all have this feeling; we'd love to be independent, but we don't want to forget our roots - where we grew up - home.
Everyone would love to be independent, no longer being tied down to their family. At the same, however, we'd hate for our relationships (between us and our families) to deteriorate because we're no longer living with them.
While severing bonds with a friend, parents, etc. is difficult are they truly ever completely severed? They aren't. While we go off to college we may not see our close friends or your parents for a while, but we most likely won't ever forget about them. Most likely, we'll be able to see them again in the future, and probably reconnect.
I'm going to leave my some of my friends behind when i leave, and it's going to be bittersweet for me. However in ten year, when I see them again at a reunion or something, I'll put a smile on my face, and go talk to them, and reminisce about these days.
I know one day I'll leave, and I'll be be happy about it. I also know that one day I will return, and that I will be even more happy about.
Do I know what I want in life? This is a very tricky question in someways.
Life is a very complicated thing if you really think about it. It offers you good and bad and gives you multiple choices to what you want to be. As time went on I have changed my mind multiple times on what I wanted in life kids no kids easy job hard job to earn more money. I guess what I really wanted in life which is very general I wanted to have a better life then my parents had for themselves.
Growing up as a child for me was like anyone else’s I suppose. My parents are divorced I should probably say which these days is not very rare to find. So life between two house was the usual when I was over ones house I missed the other. On the other side I had two holidays two birthdays so that was enjoyable. Both my parents had very different lives and they both didn’t seem happy I noticed this from a very young age.
Elementary School 5th grade:
My 5th grade teacher right before we went into 6th grade which was considered middle school in my old district asked us this same question.
What do we want in life?
At that time I said I wanted to keep my friends because to me they were the best people in the world. As it was called back then play time was the best time of the whole day. I loved my friends and they loved me.
End of middle school: 8th grade year
So we went through middle school and I lost my elementary school friends and I didn’t really notice them slipping out of my hands when the time came to talk about what we wanted in life and what we had gained in life in the last 3 years I realized I lost my old friends and gained new ones. So I thought only wanting my friends in life was dumb and immature so I changed my mind to wanting to be a senior in high school. Being the big guy in a huge school, well it was to me, would be the best thing ever.
My high school years were a little bit different from most. Im saying that because this is my fourth year of high school and this is also my fourth school in high school. Every year I was packed up and moved. So I no longer got that opportunity to grow up and go through high school with my same friends or be the big bad senior of the school I wanted to be where I thought everyone would know me and look up to me. Instead that goal in life that I wanted slipped away when I was told I’m not going to the high school I wanted to so my plans of what I wanted in life we smashed.
What was I left to do?
I felt so alone in every school I attended each year it became harder and harder to find friends as I’m learning this year to. But that’s ok with me I figure if it’s meant to be then it will happen. But my whole point of this blog is not to make you feel bad for me or anything like that it’s to prove the point that life throws curve balls at you and your plans change and what I started off wanting in life is not what I want now.
Now in life what I want is to just get to the next step and see where life takes me. And adapt to wherever I am. Also what I want is to become a better person and grow from all of the things I’m up against and learn from the people I’m fighting with and to have some type of security if you will to know where I am placed in life that I will be ok. I’m going to be ok.
That’s what I want in life.
Hey Alexandra. I really liked your post. Out of all of them I felt like I could relate to your post the most. Now that you point it out, we do loose friends. Sometimes we notice the drift and sometimes we don't. One thing though that was hard to understand was "Im saying that because this is my fourth year of high school and this is also my fourth school in high school." Can you tell me what you mean?
Hey thanks for reading.
What i meant by that is well im not really sure how to word it but freshman year i was at Pomona High School, 10th grade i was moved out of state to New Hampshire so i went to a high school out there Junior year i was at San Dimas High school and finally senior year im at Arcadia High school thats what i meant by 4 different High schools. Sorry that was unclear.
Govinda’s decision is certainly a hard one to make. He is resistant to leaving because Govinda is comfortable with his current lifestyle and doesn’t feel the need to change. He has a routine, something he is used to, and there is a big chance that if he does decide to leave with Siddhartha, he may not find what he is looking for. On the other hand Govinda is extremely devoted to Siddhartha; friendship just doesn’t do their relationship justice. They are both like brothers, and yet still Siddhartha has always dominated their relationship. And that is why Govinda ultimately does decide to leave with Siddhartha: he is just too devoted to his friend to abandon Siddhartha. But perhaps deep within him, he too feels the calling to adventure. At first I thought Govinda follows Siddhartha out of pure loyalty, but later as I read on I discovered that Govinda too wanted to unlock the secrets of enlightenment and become part of something more than himself.
We later learn that Govinda does indeed find his true calling by joining Gotama and accepting monkhood. For this I am truly happy for him; no one should be left in a subservient position. Even though Govinda’s loyalty to his childhood friend is commendable, ultimately his devotion was a detriment because he was always the follower. If I were given a choice top stay within the village or leave with Siddhartha, I would choose to leave. But not with Siddhartha. I would leave everything behind to uncover my own path, because I was not born to be a follower. Each of us has our own dreams to pursue, and that journey defines who you are, what kind of person you will be. You can’t fulfill this search for insight following the decisions of others, because you are not being you. Our choices define us, not, I hope, the choices of others.
Great post explaining the rationale of Govinda's decision. I just wonder if he truly moves past his "subservient position" because Govinda, by entering monkhood, accepts himself as a follower and subordinate of Gotama.
In a way, he doesnt, and that is what sets Govinda apart from Siddhartha. Siddhartha is the "trailblazer" and wants to create something for himself, find his own path. Govinda was always content with following, instead of leading. It was the fact that he finally chose a path independent of Siddhartha, who he has always followed, that was what I found important.
You know when your parents get mad at you and they could not care less to hear what you have to say? Or they do something you do not approve of, or aren’t there to give you love and support? So then you make a mental note not to do that to your children?
I often make those mental notes.
My mother is borderline crazy protective of me. She just does not want me to grow up. She forbids me to drive, I cannot get a job, I cannot have a cellular device (but she wants my younger sister by two-years to have one. Logic, where did you go?), she will not allow me to go away for college. She told me “no” to the school I wanted to go to, this frustrating list goes on.
My father is a man I look up to. Sure, at times I can be a pain to him because, “I’m a teenage girl and you don’t understand anything because you’re a boy. So may you pleases leave me alone?”, but he is the type of parent I wouldn’t mind becoming. In fact, I’d be proud, he supports me (my Mother tends to force herself to support me) . He also is my number one fan in any extracurricular activity I do for example, once, after a race he came up to and said : “Good job, Samantha I’m so proud of you ! You made me cry!”
My mental note on all of this?
I’m going to let my children intake the journey of growing up without holding them back due to the personal fear of them become beautiful adults in this world. Besides no matter what they will always be your baby, right?
I think it is painfully wise to be like Mr. Feraco’s Father, but with my children I will take a slightly different approach. I will tell them my honest opinion of what I think about the different colleges along with what I think about the schools they seem intrigued in, and any questions they may have.
I will only tell them my honest opinion once, and, after that I will become a shadow in their personal journey.
I will have enough trust in my child to believe they are making the right decisions for their future. Sure, I believe in this time period of ending high school and entering college is a bumpy ride for both parents and child. At the same token I also believe the child is at the wheel driving their way to their future, and for the first time the parents are the passengers.
For that reason, I have respect for Siddhartha’s father. Although he didn’t initially agree or approve of Siddhartha’s request, he eventually let him go because he realized his child has already “left him”. Every parent knows that eventually their child must leave after all it is a part of life.
So why would I be like my Mother? Why would I want to deprive my child of this journey?
I do not want to be and will not be.
Sammy, you may be happy to know that you are not alone in your situation. My mom is exactly the same way, so don’t feel bad. I think they just want to keep us as long as they can. It takes guts though to let your children go on their own paths and let them figure out things on their own. I could only wish I can be as strong as you when that day comes when my own kids are going off into the world. I know that we all want to be by our children’s side at every waking moment because they are a part of us. I have realized that parents feel our hurt when we get hurt. For many parents letting their kids make their own decisions is hard to do, but from what you described, the way you approach that decision makes a lot of sense. I always get angry when ever my mom says I can’t do something because she thinks I will get hurt or something horrible can happen. I want to maintain that care for my child but also at the same time be like you and let them follow their journey on their own.
Hello, Christian! I always figured there are people in the world who share a situation, but I am happy to know there is someone else on this blog that has the same situation! Ahaha. Although this isn’t a situation you want other people to have. It can make you angry (like you said) and it can make you emotional. This sure shows you how unfair life is! Oh boy, you can say that again, “I think they just want to keep us as long as they can”. I don’t think our Mothers realize what kind of effect this has on us. They are so busy holding us; they don’t realize they are choking us. I appreciate your comments!
Sammie, I really do do that all the time. I make mental notes sometimes when my parents' bad sides come out to never pick up those traits.
And I definitely agree about letting your children grow up and not holding them back. If I ever were to have kids, I'd do exactly the same. Sure, I might try to guide them at least in the right direction, but beyond that, any choices they make I will allow. They may be children, but who am I to hold power over other people's lives?
But yes, I also understand that letting go would be painful. Few people would ever want to see kids finally grow up and leave the home. It's hard losing people in any circumstance.
Yay! For taking mental notes! I sometimes feel I should write them down too…
Anyways, I love how you said, “They may be children, but who am I to hold power over other people's lives?” this is my view point on most things I don’t like. Why should I tell someone, “No, you can’t eat pizza” just because I do not like pizza? (Do not fear, I like pizza). I do not think I have a right to do so. So why tell your child, “No, you can’t grow up”? Just because you don’t want them to grow up?
I really find it silly, and even though it is hard to lose people, I do believe that if you have a good relationship with your parents, you never really will lose your child.
To be honest, I do not feel ready to go to college just yet. It’s scary how far I have come in just seventeen years. It is too surreal that I will be eighteen years old in a few months! This means I will be legally an adult and I am not ready at all for the responsibilities and consequences that come with that. Ever since I was a child, I would lean on people for help and depend on them to make the right decisions for me and now that has come back to bite me in the butt. For example I have no clue what I want to be when I grow up and I don’t even know what I want to major in when I get to college. Driving my own car was something I looked forward to, but at the same time, I’m not sure I am ready to drive! Well, maybe I went a little far there but everything before the driving part was true.
I really can’t relate to Siddhartha leaving home even though he had his friend by his side. I would have probably been scared half to death. He had no money or transportation, but what he did have was a strong determination to pursue what he decided he wanted to do. Siddhartha knew what he wanted to find and he wouldn’t stop till he got what he set out to do. He was highly motivated and that’s one thing I don’t have! For making that choice to leave his home should be greatly admired and respected. Putting myself in his shoes, I could not see me making the same choice. What he was searching for takes time to find and patience and I could not stay on that journey for long periods of time even if I had a friend alongside me. I have a journey I need to take and I need to take that journey alone. I am not ready for that day at the moment although I know I will face it sooner or later. At this point in time, all I can do is prepare for when that day comes. I know my parents are by my side with almost any decision I have ever made or ever will make. I know they will be by my side on the first day of college and will be there on my last.
I know in my heart I will be by my own child’s side during the first day of preschool and the last day of college. It will be hard to let them go and I really don’t want to think about that day just yet. One thing is certain, I will be by my child’s side through anything and make any decisions that are too difficult to make alone. I just could only hope he/she will possess a good sense of direction in life.
Hey, I can totally relate to you!
I always look at those ambitious people, and secretly wish I were like them. I'm not sure what I want to major in either, but I'm sure you'll find something that will call out to you! I think we all have some talent and we must all have something that we love doing, so carry on strong, and I'm sure you'll find it. If you let what you love motivate you, you won't be afriad!
Nice job on connecting your answers! I think that your post was thorough, and you did a good job.
I feel the same way about college. It is approaching us so quickly, and I'm scared for what it has to offer. While at the same time, I'm extremely excited to embark on an amazing experience. It's a bitter sweet feeling.
As for your stance on Siddhartha, I can't completely agree with you. I understand it would be frightening to go out, and search for something you don't know about. Although, Siddhartha felt as if he were trapped within the confinements of his home. He needed something more, something new, something he didn't know about yet.
Overall, I think your post was insightful, and I enjoyed reading it! Thanks!
I really liked what you wrote, I could definitely relate to it. I also feel like the time flew by way too fast, it seems like only yesterday I was barely entering the high school for the first time! Now we're seniors and pretty soon we'll be on our own.
Indeed, "It’s scary how far I have come in just seventeen years."
My favorite part of your post, although the smallest section, is when you talked about how you are going to be there for your kids. It's important for us as young adults now to absorb and reflect on how are parents treat us and to improve or learn from them. Your son/daughter(s) will possess a good sense of direction if they have a great support system, such as yourself.
I feel the same way about my future children! Imagining how I'll feel when my kids are leaving me, makes me have a little sympathy for my parents.
I also agree that it is totally mind blowing how much happens in just 17 short years of life. It is frightening that we have to leave home soon, but it's just a new chapter of life that hold new and exciting adventures! You as well as the rest of us will be ready when the time comes.
"Do I look like you now, mommy?" I still remember asking that eleven years ago as a six year old little girl wearing my mom's high heels. All I ever wanted to do as a child was grow up. Nothing else. I look back frequently on those easy going days where we would run around anywhere and everywhere and work effortlessly in school. Tell me if I'm wrong but, didn't that feel like just yesterday? And already I'm waking up daily with what I now established is called, stress. Stress about grades, my grade point average, essays and tests, and especially college. I've realized what I've been complaining about for the longest time in high school is that time is ticking by way too fast. If it's anything that I want in the moment, I would wish for the time to just all slow down. Seriously, just pause.
Throughout my entire life, my parents were always there to support my every need, no doubt. But when it came to choices relevant to my life or school, my parents have sort of a "hands-off" involvement. They would be there to offer any advice or enlighten me with any of their own experiences, but not tell me what to choose. They would allow me to make the choices I want to make and choose the path I want to follow, but not which path they want me to go on. Not once did they suggest a target for me to aim at, similar to Mr. Feraco's father. I'm grateful to have parents who trust me to make choices on my own, whether they be right or wrong. I honestly think they trust my judgment way more than they should, but that is the way I must learn.
I believe when the day comes when I depart from home and go off to college, my parents will be just like Siddhartha's father. They will surely accept the fact that I finally fit into my mom's high heels and will be on my way to find what I need to find out there in the unfamiliar world, alone.
But what am I trying to find? I'll let you in on a little secret. Not too long ago I took the honor of spending the last day of summer on the mountaintop, sightseeing. Just as I was star gazing, one shot right across the sky shinning its bright ray out to the distance. What wish did I make? I wished to be happy the rest of my life. Now I know that may be a little vague or a bit ridiculous but hey, I had less than two seconds to think of something I wanted. My mom always said, whichever color shirt that catches your eye first, is no doubt the one you'll like better. If you saw the pink one first and then thought the red one is also nice, go with the pink. And so I did. Happiness; that was my first choice.
I came upon a quote not too long ago and this quote kept me motivated, kept me wanting to strive for life. "Don't hope or wish for something easier, pray for the strength to be stronger and to work harder." Now if only I saw this inspiring quote before I made my wish, I wouldn't have just wished for happiness. But the quote is true. If we work hard and push ourselves out there, great things can happen; which is why all I'm looking for is the drive, the motivation, and the strength. I understand as each day goes by, I only near finding more about myself, about what I want. But for now, that is exactly what I want, exactly what i need. Without it, how do I get anywhere.
hello sandy T
I completely agree with you on your last paragraph. That is by far one of the best quotes I've seen so far. when I was a sophmore, I used to always pick all the easy classes so that I can earn an easy A. I now realize that, that was stupid! I also now realize that there is no way we could be better at something if we didn't work hard for it. keep striving Sandy and don't give up and thank you for the amazing quote!
Hi Michael and Sandy(:
So I also agree on that quote. It is best to take a harder route in life rather than take the easy way out. I mean if you do what will you get out of it? But Michael, don't call yourself stupid. You were a sophomore and you were probably careless at the moment but not stupid for sure. And for you Sandy...well I want to hear more awesome quotes from you the next time we blog! (:
Clarence: Thanks Clarence I'll try my best. More quotes to come!
Craig C: Thank you so much as well! I definitely miss the old days where I can be carefree, but now we have absolutely no time for any of that. Thank you for your feedback, i'm glad you were able to connect with me on a few thoughts!
Hi Michael D, thank you so much for the feedback. it is my best quote as well! Don't ever call yourself stupid because most of us have been there before too, looking for the easy way out, but i realized that's not what life is about. No doubt I will definitely keep striving forward, you should too! Again, thank you!
I really connected with the first paragraph. As children we all want to grow up, when we get there though, all we want to do is be younger again! It was fun being young, no responsibilities, worries, nothing. I also wish time would slow down, but it doesn't. It just keeps breezing by, and it's scary. That relation really connected with me. Thank you.
Why do I have a sense of feeling our minds are like twins? for the exception of the heels and the "Do I look like you now, mommy?" because obviously guys do not do that. But I i understand what your going through. I think that's is how everyone is right now actually. Just stressed about everything, but mainly about College. I also remember when i was young I said that when i grow up, that I would follow my mother's footsteps. Now, I'm like traveling the opposite direction from what my mom traveled on.
David C, I'm glad I discovered a mind twin! But yes, we all gradually make our own path that might not be the same as what we planned it to be in the beginning, but it can be a good thing. To try something new and discover new things. I hope you go far ever if you're going the "complete opposite of your mother's footsteps!"
This is wonderful, I can hear a lot of voice in this! I agree. I definately miss those old days. Make the most of each day! Time flies by way too fast. That was such an amazing quote too!
I really enjoyed reading your post. It was simply amazing. I really connected to your first paragraph. I remember when I used to ask my Mom the same exact thing. You're right, it does seem like it was just yesterday. I miss the old days! Keep up the good work Sandy!
Haley A. and Briana Y.
Thank you guys so much for the great comments! And yes it's true. Even when you don't think it is, time is flying by quicker than anything. So make use and appreciate every little thing about it, as you wont have it forever.
I hate fear and stress.
Too bad it exists in my brain every day. I'm constantly stressed about having two houses in need of renovation so they can be rented out. The fact that my father is a mini Hitler and always has his slaves (my brothers and I) over there working to the death leaves me no fundamental time to just enjoy being 17, also stresses me out (while this is very exaggerated... sometimes it can feel that way). Adding to that, I have school which implies homework, and my other time consuming activity, theater. The most scary and stressful thought going through my and many other students brains, is that uncharted territory that assists in forming our futures.
What if I do not get into the college of my choice? What if things do not work out beautifully like I hope and pray for everyday? What will I do...
It strikes my brain as strange that not one thought of fear crosses Siddhartha's mind. How? He simply leaves because he has not yet found what completes him! Was it not hard that he left his home territory or his friends?
Then I realize, this is not the main concern of the matter. I think about all my stressful days, biggest fears, and the hardships life throws at me every day. None of these fears amount to those of a parent, they truly have it hardest.
While I do not have any clue about how it feels to be a parent, Mr. Feraco said something in class about parenthood, and it will be the closest I will ever come to understanding until I am thrown into the position myself one day. He said,
"A child is like a part of yourself now forever walking outside of you."
That must be the most uncomfortable feeling in the world. To not be in control of what life throws at what is a part of your own self. Let's say this part walking outside is a lung. What if something were to happen to that lung? Worst case scenario, death. What would life be like after that? Would you still be able to breathe? Or would life suddenly come to a stuttering halt because a part of you is gone. Forever.
Since my days in the school district of Arcadia are limited, I will soon take a stab in making that uncharted territory. I know my mother will be more fearful than I but she will just sit there and support as I make the marks on the map. In just the few days I have been in Mr. Feraco's search for human potential course, I already have been given an outlook on a part of life I still have to reach, parenthood. I may fear college now, but soon it will become just another remember when. For parents however, that fear of not controlling a part of them that make decisions left and right, lasts their whole life.
There is something to take from that. It has shown me I should appreciate the moments I still have left to experience while being 17. Truly.
I could walk out that door and it could very well be the last time my mother ever saw me.
Enjoy every moment, they count.
As the only child, I grew up an eggshell. I have a very over-protective mother, and all my friends know it. Everyone knows… well, except for her. When I brought up the possibilities of living in a dorm or possibly going to college out of state, she just shut me out and wouldn’t hear any more of it. On top of that, she told me if I was to leave I was initially on my own. I had to find a job and pay for school and all living expenses. Obviously, I couldn’t possibly survive, so my only choice is to stay home. It seems so unfair to me. How could they deny me my dream college experience?
“There many bad people”
“You’ll make bad mistakes”
“You’re not old enough”
All these excuse sound so ridiculous to me then.
We got into an argument. I felt frustrated. At one point, I realized I didn’t care about what how they felt; how much they loved and cared about me. All I care about is having fun with my friends in college. I began to think about it; I put myself in their shoes, and I realized that I don’t think I would be able to do it either. I don’t think I’d be able to let my only baby go off to college by herself yet. Knowing all the temptations she might face would scare me too.
She is so fragile, young, and naïve. What if she gets peer pressured? She could get into drugs, or alcohol. She could be involved in crimes. She could get herself in danger!
Even though all these things are possible, at some point they (my parents) need to learn to trust your kid and let them choose their own path knowing that you have taught them well. I know it must be really hard, and my parents aren't capable of letting go yet, but it’s okay. I’ll just have to stay home another four years to earn their trust.
Nice to meet you. haha! So your last paragraph really caught my attention. I do agree that parents never want to let their children go. My parents are the same but I don't see why not stay at home. Don't need to cook or clean and I get to be super lazy and just worry about academics. My parents work so that's a plus. I am not required to get a job but I want one to feel worthy in the family you know? So going back to my main point. My point...well it really isn't easy and you think you understand how parents want to protect their child but you will never truly understand until you have become a parent yourself. I'm not criticizing you but it's just the way I look at it. As much as I want to understand my parents, we have not been through what they have...yet. Just not our time yet! (:
Hi Ananya, your post was very interesting and i can relate to it because my parents are also worried about my future. I hope we both can gain my parent's trust that i am responsible and mature enough to take care of myself. Great job on your writing!
hmm should we admire siddartha for his choices? let's think for a minute. First of all he is brahmin's son but siddartha feels dissatisfied, incomplete and most importantly unhappy of his life.
So why would you believe in something if you're not happy with it? I am a big believer of my savior Jesus Christ and I am 100% happy with that.
I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia where 86.1% of the population is muslim and only 9% were christian. I used to go to a christian school back in Jakarta where the area were surrounded by muslim community. I do not hate the muslim people but they hated us. Believe it or not, back in my childhood days, I was bullied a lot! I never got hurt physically (thank god) but I was always verbally abused or told to get out of their territory.
The people there were extrmely racist and hated soo much causing the May of 1998 riot where 1500 died and 4,000 buildings destroyed/burned(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1998_riots_of_Indonesia). All my family and I wanted was to live peacefully with Jesus on our side.
In December of 2005, my family and I arrived in the UnitedStates where our new life begins. I didn't know a single word of english back then except for "car" for some reason. Here I am today, still a christian living in america peacefully without fear.
When Siddartha chose to leave, he made a very wise choice. He knew he was unhappy therefore he had to do something about it. If I was unhappy of being a christian, I'd already left but I am a joyful person as a christian and I wouldn't be here today writing this if there wasn't Jesus in me. Not everyone might feel the same way as me but that's okay. I like everyone for who they are and what they believe in.
I really liked how you openly talked about your religion in this post and I'm really glad that you are able to believe in Christianity in the US. We really are blessed to live in a place where Christians like you and me and many others can worship openly. I also like how you talked about how you shouldn't believe in something your not happy in and find something else, like Siddartha did. Great post!
thank you chris! wow I did not expect a comment from anybody hahaha and yes I am so extremely thankful I can worship god peacefully without any fear of getting hurt or death. after all only god can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, and a victim into a victory! And on my dark days, Jesus will always be my light and my guidance.
As my high school career draws ever closer to an end, I am still answerless when asked what I want to do in life. From a realistic standpoint, I am not expecting to go to my dream-college, then having my dream-career, and then living happily ever after with my dream-family.
I would hate to come off as a pessimist, but it simply would not be rational of me to think that way. Instead of trying to get into the most popular college, I think it would be more practical to consider a career I would like, then attending a trade school to develop the skills required for said career.
In all honesty though, I have no idea what I would like to do, but I will definitely be thinking about it as the days pass. Knowing that I like to work with my hands and since I consider electrical engineering an intriguing industry, maybe I will aim towards becoming a master electrician? This is merely a thought though, something I have not even put any real consideration into, but that is okay because like Mr. Feraco said, “It’s not written in stone.”
While I may not know what to do with my life, I will still try to better myself for the future. After graduation, I plan on furthering my education by attending college. Once again, I am aiming for something practical; more than likely, I will try to go to PCC and take some general education courses there. It may not be the most prestigious course of action, but it is practical.
Now that my adolescence is nearing an end and I am entering adulthood, I am old enough to make my own decisions and alter my life in any way that I please, just like Siddhartha. I find Siddhartha’s actions honorable; he was not trying to hurt his father by leaving him, he was on a quest for knowledge, for experience, for life.
Regarding my future, I am sure that my parents will always guide me in the right direction, and make suggestions for me if and when I need their help. My parents would not prevent me from living the life I want to live; they would not try, nor would I let them, live vicariously through me.
If the tables were turned, and I was the parent, I would make the same decision that Siddhartha’s father made, and let my children live the life that they want. To take complete control over their lives would be sickening. There is nothing worse than an over-protective parent; it would be cruel to steal your child’s life from them like that.
Life is full of risks, that is a given. If you prevent your children from making their own mistakes in life, how would they ever know what they are missing? Making mistakes is part of life, without that experience, life would be rather dull.
I absolutely loved your ending. "Making mistakes is a part of life, without that experience, life would be rather dull." I completely agree with this. Mistakes help me figure out what belong in my life and what don't. They're not fun, but they help you learn in the end.
I really like hearing your plan for after high school as well. You sound so confident that I'm somewhat jealous. I'd love to be just a little more sure about myself and my future. And don't worry about coming off as pessimistic, because that IS a realistic thought about the future, at least in my opinion.
Ever since I was a Junior I’ve been looking forward to moving out and going to college. The idea of me leaving is so tantalizing yet so out of reach and my thoughts haven’t changed one bit. I need to leave my house, my two older brothers, my dogs, my room…my parents. I need to leave my security blanket.
With protective and nosey parents it’s difficult to live a mistake let alone make one. That’s not to say that I’ve never made a mistake but that every major mistake was quickly and strategically fixed by the one and only, Mommy and/or Daddy. I thank them for that, maybe not verbally but I do try my hardest not to make major mistakes. I don’t want my parents to fix my mistakes so the only way to do that is to not make mistakes.
But I still wait for the day that I go against what is right.
I wait for the day that a mistake actually becomes one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
I believe that moment sits near in the future but I know that I will never find it unless I branch out from my parents, but they think otherwise.
Being the youngest and only daughter it’s hard not to be Daddy’s little girl. That’s how I’ve always associated myself to him, as his princess or as “The most beautiful girl in the world.” as he puts it. I know that if I stay close to home or even stay at home that my dad would never let anything fall out of order.
I can see that he wants me to stay close to home but he never quite says anything negative because he wants me to make the decision. But my dad isn’t completely hands off. He says that in order for him to pay for my college that it has to be a Cal State.
I don’t see anything wrong with Cal States so I’m not angry but rather happy that my parents are giving me an
The opportunity to move out and to make a mistake.
Yes, of course I’ll attend college for the educational benefit but why not make something more of it?
Why not take a “dumb” class in which I might run into the love of my life?
Why not accidentally make a wrong turn and end up discovering a new secret path?
Every mistake has a consequence; I’ll just make sure the benefits are greater than the consequence.
But, as every wise man has said “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!”
Very beautiful post. It was a nice experience hearing a serious side to you. I respect you for wanting to go out and experience the world so you can grow as a person. Not many people have what it takes to stand up and do that. Wonderful.
I really admire how ready you are to leave home and move on with life! I myself am equally as excited but I also am pretty scared. However, reading this kind of inspired me to be a little less worried and a little more prepared to tackle what lies ahead. So, thank you!
hi Bianca, this was a really great post. It was easy and intersting to read and i really admire you for wanting to make mistakes to find something better. The last line is awesome!
Being born in the mid 90’s I grew up watching Disney channel movies and I imagine that growing up meant graduating high school and driving my mustang roadster with the top down and just cruising with 3 other friends that are attending the same college as I am. Until then, I never really thought about the reality of life after high school like paying for rent, food, transportation, cost of books, etc. Just recently I have been talking to my parents about which schools I should attend. The first thing that came out of their mouth didn’t seem to surprise me…
“Son, you must stay close to home so that we save money.”
Born in southern California and in a traditional Chinese family, I already knew my parents had made the choice to make me stay close to home and no more than a 1 hour drive away from home. Similar to Siddhartha’s father, my parents tempt me with big boy toys such as cars, bikes, and other motorsport goodies. I know I am nowhere being close to a parent but I understand why my parents don’t want me going off far away. They still see me as a toddler grasping onto any toy I see. It’s also that family bond we have and the love we have for each other. As a traditional Chinese family, we like to stay in a bundle and travel together and because of that I can never blame my parents. My mom still looks at me as if I was 8 years old. She brings me food for lunch, she helps me wash my clothes at times and even help me on some homework that I don’t understand. But I also never gave the thought of breaking out my comfort zone. The feeling of freedom being at home seemed greater than the freedom inside the dorms. I have my own privacy and I wouldn’t need to share a place with 1 or 2 others in small, cramped, white room. Why not listen to our parents for the time being while they are still here on earth with us right? Why not spend more precious time with them to bond instead of being rebellious?
So do I know what am I looking for?
As a kid, hell yeah! I wanted to be a character in Dragon Ball Z that went super saiyan or a power ranger that had awesome gadgets. As everyone does I grew older and wiser only to look deeper into the question. Siddhartha also knew what he wanted but he ended up leaving Buddha only hoping to find answers by himself. It took me awhile to find the answer or at least I think I do. I want to find out what I want in life and why. This question isn’t easy to answer… in fact it’s impossible to answer. People change, people see things differently every single day, and everyone has a different goal in life. It takes time to know what you want in life and once you do know what you are looking for it usually comes out as a false answer. I believe that majority of the human race is always on autopilot. Everyone wants and wants but do you ever think if you will need instead of want? To be honest I really don’t know what I want. I’m a 17 year old student that is still a child at heart. Why worry about what I want in life? Live life to the fullest and everything will fall into place. I’m sure you have heard of that before right?
First, I would like to say that the Disney Channel days were the best days. Unfortunately, we had to grow up. Where did the time go…
It was neat to hear some of your thoughts and your personal experiences. They are clear and spoken in a unique voice that many people can relate to with their own lives.
I understand the strong bond you have with your parents because I myself often wonder what will life be like without them after seventeen years. I do not know what will happen anymore than you do. Anything can happen. It may be scary and it may be frustrating to not know what is to come sometime. It is like for the first time, we have a choice and the freedom to do as we please. As a kid, I would be beyond excited to jump on that opportunity but now, I just do not know what to think of it.
I know for sure that there is so much life has to offer; we just have to keep our eyes open for when it comes our way.
I have no doubt that you will find what you have been looking for one day and when you do, go after it and do not let anything hold you back.
It will be even cooler than the Disney Channel days!
Hey someone replied to my reply haha.
Thanks for replying. Disney Channel days were the best huh? I still can't believe all those old shows are gone. It is sad...
We are all searching for something, and that's probably why we took this class. Like Mr. Feraco said, there are only 5 things that drive us. For me, I have always been driven by identity. I'm the youngest of my entire family, and I felt that I have always had my decisions made for me.
I wanted to do a lot of things too, but the only thing I could do was to do what my mom told me to do. What else could I do? She was exactly like Siddhartha's father. I grew up having many things pushed onto me, so much that I thought those things were pushed on my accord. But surprisingly, when I was about 14, I was able to make my own decisions. But it wasn't like fun summer days. My mom went from choosing what clothes I bought to just leaving me alone and having me shop on my own.
From one extreme to the other.
But now is the most important year of my school career, and I don't know if going to a private college is the right choice, or to go to a UC, or a community college. I don't know if I should go into a medical career and be successful, or be a lawyer like I've always wanted to be. Now is the time I need my family to help me figure out what I want, because they know me as well as I know me, and maybe even more. But alas, they say they want me to make my own decisions, as well as my own mistakes. I guess there really is no decision that I could make that could completely satisfy everyone.
I really do admire Siddhartha to leave his family. It’s inspiring to read about how he already knows what he is searching for in life, and his persistence to find it so far in the book is exactly what I'm looking for. For me, it's not easy to decide what I want. I still have no idea what I'm searching for. I don't even know who I really am yet. I'm just trying to see where I fit into the world. And right now, it's the only thing I can do.
Bravo, I really liked how you talked a familiar situation that most of us seniors are facing. It made your peace relatable. Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone ever fits into this world. There’s no predetermined puzzle peace that you are destined to fit in. You’re a unique so stay that way.
It made me smile! Your words do reveal what you're struggling with. My advice? To put it simply, don't worry about satisfying other people you don't know and love and success comes with hard work involved in what you love doing.
both will generally have you ending up with a good amount of money.
If you don't like studying necessary subjects to becoming a doctor, you're going to get bored, confused, and give up at least halfway through. Go for what you enjoy learning; I feel like it'll make success that much better.
I have always listened to my dad, no matter what he has asked me to do. Ever since I could remember he would always ask me, out of the 3 kids in our family, to do everything. I have an older sister and brother, my sister being the oldest, and me being the youngest. Maybe me being the baby in the family meant that I had to do everything he asked, maybe my brother and sister went through it as well, but they say they never did.
Senior year: The year I am suppose to make my dad the most proud by being the first of the Shalabi boys to go straight to a 4-year, plus work in our family business everyday that I don’t have school. My sister went to college, but she got married and is taking care of a baby. As for my brother, he is still in a junior college, so he has high expectations for me. He can’t wait until I work full time in our business, he tells me almost everyday. I worked there this past summer and being stuck in an office is not really my thing, but I still haven’t told him. I still haven’t told him that I am not going to work there when I’m older, I want to do something that will make me excited for work, not sad. I don’t want to be told where to work, I want to choose for myself. Sadly, the time to tell him hasn’t come yet and I don’t know when it will. I think Siddhartha’s father’s decision was wise. I know he loved his son a lot but there comes a time when every bird has to fly away from the nest and move on. It’s not good to hold on, especially if you’re a parent. You have to let go and let them experience the world. Being told what to do sucks when you’re older and sometimes you have to make your own decisions, even if they are against your fathers. By Siddhartha’s father letting him go to the woods to become a Samana, Siddhartha was able to lead his own path to find out what he is looking for.
I admire Siddhartha for choosing to leave his home and family to find what he has been looking for. He shows that he is independent and willing to go and lead his own life the way he wants it, not the way his father would like, on his own. Even after he and Govinda had met the “Buddha” and Govinda pledged to stay with all the other monks, Siddartha did not. Even though the “Illustrious One” supposedly knew all, Siddartha still did not find what he was looking for so he left, and I admire and respect him for that. We shouldn’t criticize him, they are his choices to make and it is his life lead. If I were faced with the same circumstances, I would leave and search for myself as Siddartha did. I know it would hurt my if I left but no one can have everything they want, I know its a harsh thing to say, but sometimes the truth hurts, and when it does you have to keep your head up and do what YOU want, not what somebody else wants.
My dad thinks I know what I’m looking for, but honestly, I have no clue. Hopefully I will find something in the near future.
Wow! I am amazed with this post, you are very independent and eventually you shouldn't be scared and tell your family you want to pursue your own dreams and accomplishments.
Thanks Cameron! I will probably talk to him soon about what I want to do, hopefully all goes well.
Hello Omar! I really enjoyed reading this. During the summer I had to work for my dad's business as well. I hated it. When I told my brother how I felt, he lectured me on how taking over and helping out the business is my “duty”. I still disagreed. I can't imagine doing something that I didn't love for the rest of my life. But anyways, hopefully you can find the strength to let your dad know how you really feel soon because your happiness counts too!
Hey Omar !
I was really surprised by your honesty to both yourself and to us. I hope that you can soon find your own path. I do think though that you should tell your dad about what your dreams and aspirations are. Unless they’re all mind readers , im pretty sure they wont know . Good luck sir !
In an ideal world, a mom and a dad raise a child or two. The parents raise their kids to be smart, independent, and wise. Their kids go throughout all of high school with seamless grades and each attends the college of their liking. The kids later obtain a perfect job, living dreamily with their families...
I come from a family of 5, my mother, father, older brother who is 20, and a little brother who is currently a freshman. Admittedly, we are a middle-class family, we are from perfect, and definitely have a higher tendency to fight things out rather than talk them out. (From a brother’s standpoint). The special thing we can do together as a whole, knows how to overcome significant conflicts that we encounter. For instance, my parents generally get us everything we need in order for my brothers and I to benefit and productively use the item. My father has given us countless economic advice (considering he is an accountant) and has guided us to a stable path of hope to succeeding in the future.
So what am I looking for? I’ll be honest, my decision is sort of “up in the air” as of now. What I do know is I plan on searching for that one career I will cherish doing everyday alongside striving for that job. I will not settle for less, unless of course the pay is extraordinary. I want to work somewhere where I can benefit myself and the people around me. I want to change the way people view things and help other pursue their dream like I believe I will do. When I enter the real world, I will not be the person who curls up in the corner wishing he still lived at home. No, what I want is to be independent and wise when I make choices that could affect my life positively or negatively. I want to prove to my parents, especially my father, that I have learned everything he has risen me to be and fend for myself and my family. Most importantly, I want to payback my parents for everything they have provided me with. I don’t literally mean every single cent, but just simple tokens of my appreciation. Proving my parents I can succeed independently will be their one wish I must grant them.
As I grow older and older, I tend to think less and less about my parents, its just part of the whole “growing up” process. It hasn’t quite hit me yet, and I’m sure it hasn’t hit other too, but this is officially my last year of just being a kid. I can’t even be a kid without hearing another conversation about what I want to be or what college I want to go to without being judged. (This pertaining to family talks). It just bugs the hell out of me when my aunts or uncles are on my case for college. I realize they care, but what they need to realize is that I’m not a kid anymore; I’m nearly 18 in 7 months! I’m going to be an adult and will be tested indefinitely on my future and the real world. I have confidence in my parents preparing me for my final stages of the real world, as well as my teachers here at Arcadia.
So the world is there waiting for me take it on. I am not quite ready, but with final improvements, I will be ready for that day. It’s a promise I made myself the end of junior year. I will find what I am looking for and I will succeed at it. I am confident. I believe.
Nice post! I think that a lot of people want to become independent, especially with such a big family. We usually start to get tired of depending on others. I am like you, I want to succeed and prove to my parents that all they did for me paid off. At the same time, I do not know what I want in life. And I know you know the feeling of it too. It is pretty brutal. But I hope that you succeed. I am almost positive if someone has great confidence, they will be satisfied with wherever they end up. I know that it will be a great place for you!
Do you know what you’re looking for?
Happiness. Specifically though, I am looking for reasons to be able to say “I’m happy” to myself without feeling like I’m telling a lie. It’s a clichéd, overused, banal answer, but what more any person want? I have gone seventeen years living without a consistent amount of happiness. It might come at times but just like that will disappear again. That is not to say though that I am not enjoying life, because I most definitely am. The friends and family around me make living the most wonderful experience, and my hobbies and interests keep me satisfied. One might then ask after reading that, “Why can’t you tell yourself happy then?”
There is an empty space inside of me, a hole somewhere in my chest, that’s hollow and bare and looking for a number of things to fill it in. Not once has that space been filled; not even close. Lately though, I’ve felt that I’ve found part of what’s missing from me in another person. He has changed the person I am over the course of just four months. I have, one, become closer to admitting happiness, and two, stronger. Being around him makes me feel like I can be a more confident person and as though the places I think I can’t reach are closer than I believe they are.
He alone cannot fill the emptiness in me though. There are other pieces I’m looking for, things that I cannot even name yet but yearn for nonetheless. Sometimes I believe the search involves moving away to a new city to begin anew, and other times I think staying around is just what I need.
This is an adventure for me, one that has made me experience a slew of emotions along the way. I’ve both laughed and cried through these years trying to find the things that make me happy, because life is fun, but it’s also unfair and even when I think I’m close to finding something to fill the gap in me, things fall apart. It has led to both my greatest and worst experiences and confused me thoroughly about what I value and want.
What I know for sure though still is that I will not stop looking for reasons that will make me whole until I am able to tell myself “I’m happy” and until the empty feeling within me is gone, no matter what I must endure to find them.
Hey Jessica! I completely understand and know what you mean about happiness. I once was in your footsteps and now I'm back in it.
My mom comes from Taiwan and my dad comes from China and I think they fall very well into the category of “old fashioned”. We all have our different opinions on how we want to live our life. Especially the one me and my father had. Our personalities and beliefs are extremely different and hes had all these different expectations from me ever since the day I was born. I fear that I will not meet those expectations. Scratch that, I know that I won't meet his expectations.
Nevertheless, I admire Siddhartha for his choice. I think if I was I in his position I would do the exact same thing. Because coincidentally, what i'm doing is similar to his choices. Even though my dad has his own beliefs and expectations of what he wants me to become, I don't want to follow it. Like Siddhartha, I feel as if I follow everything that my dad expects me to do I will still be empty and unsatisfied. I just want to find and walk on my own path.
But hopefully, when Departure Day does come around, my father would allow me to act upon what I want to do and let me learn from myself, just as Feraco's dad and Siddhartha's dad did. For now, I can only hope to mature and make the right decision on departure day. I hope my father and I can face it with no expectations and with an open mind.
As I read through Siddhartha, I feel like I can understand and relate to the choices he made. Usually we all start out lost, we're oblivious to all the things we want, our future. But sometime down the road hopefully we find what it exactly is that we want and we'll create a dream for us to follow. Some, find what they want earlier than others. Some, just know what makes them happy from the get-go. Others, struggle to find exactly what it is that can fill that empty feeling inside them.
I guess just like Siddhartha I am trying to find fulfillment and true happiness, even though I have no idea how to find it or what it actually means to become happy. That is what I am looking for.I guess just like Siddhartha I am trying to find fulfillment and true happiness, even though I have no idea how to find it or what it actually means to become happy. That is what I am looking for.
I can totally relate to this, my dad wants me to do so many things that are hard to achieve. Lead your own life and make your own choices, but it doesn't hurt to take some advice from your parents. They have experienced the real world and could help you.
your post is true for many people our age, on the edge of adulthood but not quit there yet. expectations are high now, pressuring us to be the best us we can be... but for who? that's what parents should realize. yes, they could be trying to insure a perfect future for us because they worrying for us out of love. But how do they expect us to grow when they dictate every part of our life? That's where we begin to rebel... sometimes it's not always bad to go against your parents as long as it's something worth fighting for!
I agree with you all the way. We all have to start off somewhere. Just be more open minded and take more chances. When you walk a path, it always opens another and if that path you chose was wrong, well just learn from your mistake. Every experience you can draw something good from it and apply it on your next path you take.
We had finally arrived to the droves of students waiting for dorm check-ins. “Moving day,” mom had mentioned before. Once we reached the right line, my parents began listing advice on every single possible and extracting promises from my brother to call home regularly and avoid trouble. This seemed to continue until we unpacked the last box of supplies and set the alarm clock to the correct time.
When we said our goodbyes, my fifth grade self finally realized that my brother had actually moved. His home was no longer my home. He was not an Arcadian anymore, but a Berkelian. I turned to my parents expecting to see faces of worry. Instead they reflected a calm, satisfied feeling.
They had finally relinquished their control over my brother, their eighteen year investment.
Much like Siddhartha’s father, however, they had tried to sway my brother into certain decisions, warning that the academic rigor of Berkeley didn’t match his high school attitude, that Berkeley was too far for regular family visits, that he would be spending four years in one of the most crowded universities around. In the end, when my brother had finalized his decision, my parents relented. They accepted what they had already known.
As much as they tried to be passive during the process, their inner parenting instincts told them to help choose for their child. I believe that I will act the same exact way if and when I raise a child. I will know that my child will need to make his or her own decision, but after feeding, clothing, and sheltering my child day after day, week after week, year after year, it will be impossible for me to not aid in the decision making process in one of the biggest decisions in life.
I will try to release my influence on the issue. I will also fail, miserably.
Wow! That was fantastic. I was surprised at the misdirection of the first couple of lines as well as the last. I thought you were talking about your future self. That was creative. Your writing is short and sweet. This was a pleasure to read. Bravo:-)
Thank you Mickaela. I had not intended for the misdirection. I was trying to refer to the past to explain how I would act in the future. It seems that my introduction needs to be more specific.
Do you know what you are looking for?
I have had my life planned out even before I started my journey through high school. I was going to blow through freshman year, sophomore year, junior year, and senior year like I did through Elementary and Middle School with straight A’s. Then get into a great college and major in Engineering. From there, continue the family trend and become an Engineer. Make a good amount of money and live and die a happy life with my soul mate. I had it all set. That felt like the Utopia I wanted. That was perfect. It had to be perfect.
So my answer is: Yes, I do know what I am looking for. The End . . .
Or is it? . .
Do I really want to continue the family trend?
My father is an engineer. My mother is an engineer. My father’s brother is an engineer. My mother’s sister is an engineer. The list continues on. Even all of my cousins are majoring in Engineering as we speak. Everyone is an Engineer. Obviously I need to continue the nature of our name as an engineer. That was the future I knew I had to be.
Now I am a senior and the Utopia future I once hoped for is now beginning to fade. Through the first three years of high school, my view on the world has dramatically changed. Not that I have changed my hope for a different future, but that I question more about the world around me.
What is the point in how big our house is or how expensive our car is?
What is the point in green paper or shiny coins?
What is the point in a movie-like life style?
What is the point in trying to know one’s future for some people?
What is the point in anything?
What is the point . . .?
So again, if someone asked me, “Do you know what you are looking for?” I don’t know what to say. I really don’t know what I’m looking for at this point. I do have a set of goals, but that doesn’t mean anything. Yes, that may sound depressing, but I view the world by two main philosophies; first, that things happen for a reason (Yes, a cliché); and secondly, I believe that I cannot change my future because the world has a path already set for me and sooner or later I will find it. Maybe the world has me become a great engineer, maybe I will live in a perfect world, or maybe I will follow a different path and become something unexpected, but I know for sure that I will never want to find out the future that is to come for me.
In some ways, I am like Siddhartha. He too is expected to take the same path as his father, and his father before that. And both Siddhartha and I lack the happiness in our hearts. Siddhartha challenges himself and wants to live a life where he doesn’t know what he is going to become in the future. So personally, I admire Siddhartha’s choices because that is exactly what I would do. I would go out in the world and challenge my future. Because he simply questioned what I too question, “What is the point of knowing the future?”
I always hated movies that related to changing the future by going back to the past, like “Back to the Future.” This is because life isn’t worthwhile when you know the future and furthermore, if one could change the future, the choices and mistakes one makes begins to disappear and what is left, just success?
Future, n. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
Your post was inspiring because you tell it like it is, the pressure of living up to expectations can be tough. I think if you want to find what you're looking for you should live for yourself... but who am i to tell you how to live? You're going to be fine no matter what decision you choose. Hopefully, you take a risk and choose the one that makes you happy in life. Whether happiness comes from pleasing your family by going in the path of engineering or by doing anything you love!
There was one thing I really liked about what you wrote, that you don't know what it is you want to do yet. Sounds a lot like what I think, and you seem to be okay with not knowing, which is another idea we share. But my advice, do what makes you happy, not anybody else, you!
It's pointless to make someone to do something that they do not want to. People respond poorly towards force, and usually they will try to fight against what they are being forced to do. For this reason alone people want their independence.
As a child, usually we are okay with everything that our parents tell us to do. As we get older most of us would like our parents to step back, and take a backseat. Most of our parents, however, do still want to add their input into our lifes. No matter how old we are, our parents will be there. They will constantly tell you to listen to them and follow their suggestions and ideas. However our parents most likely will never force us to do anything. Why? Because attempting to force someone to do something they do not want to usually ends up poorly.
I think that Siddhartha's father realized that. He obviously could have told Siddhartha that he couldn't go with the Samanas, but as much as it pained him, he didn't. He understood that it was pointless to order Siddhartha to stay when Siddhartha's mind and heart told him to go. He knew that Siddhartha would soon leave, even if he told Siddhartha that he couldn't go, Siddhartha would sooner or later leave because Siddhartha's father will die, and then Siddhartha would have left. Allowing Siddhartha to leave, his father believed that Siddhartha would soon realize his mistake of leaving and come home humbled, instead being forced to stay at home unhappy.
I think that even if Siddhartha's father tried to stop him from going, Siddhartha would have eventually left without his father's blessing. Siddhartha's place was never to stay in the village, he would not have been content with a simple life. However his request does show that Siddhartha respected his father enough to ask for permission, when he could had just left.
“Have you found out what you want to do in the future yet?”
This questions been popped up many, many times in my life. My parents and relatives (especially relatives) have asked me that ever since I was 4. I always felt the pressure whenever they stare at me, expecting me to answer. So I did. I have said doctor at least 50 times. At 4, I was thinking that saying whatever will be fine as my career isn’t decided yet.
Now, when I entered high school, I STILL haven’t decided what I truly want to do for the future. I wasn’t too worried since I have 3 more years of high school before I have to decide on what to do. I believed as I go through high school I’ll be able to picture myself at age 40 with the job I want.
So during my whole freshmen to junior year, whenever my mom asks what I want to do for my future, I just tell her I want to be a lawyer. Either my answer satisfied her or she found out I am just answering to stop her from bugging me.
Now senior year arrived sooner than expected.
I was never able to find out what I wanted to do. I am now at the border line from high school to college and yet, I am confused. I am oblivious to my surroundings until now. Now I see how valuable each second is. The most I can do right now is trying to catch up the time I had wasted and lost.
Now, I can only see what I can do tomorrow instead of the far future. Now that I think back, the question “Have you found out what you want to do in the future yet?” comes back to me again and again…
I can definately relate to this. It does get irritating at times when parents and other people keep asking that question. I, too, try to satisfy my parents by giving them a random career title. Most of us, seniors, are unsure about our future ambitions, but in the end everything will somehow work out. You will find your answer one day!
Yeah, I do hope that all of us can find ourselves and be able to see what we can become in the near future. Right now, just focus on what is ahead I guess
My relatives too have asked me that same question, and I've honestly replied with "I don't know" every time. And to be honest, just like you I don't have a clue as to what I want to be doing when I'm 40, I just hope it makes me happy, and I hope the same for you.
I tried replying with “I don’t know” before, and they just look extremely disappointed. After that, I just give them an answer that can at least satisfy them. I stopped now since I think it’s weird how I have to change what I want to do based on other people.
"Do you know what you’re looking for?"
In many ways, I’m like Siddhartha, searching for something without knowing what I’m searching for, venturing out into the world from a sheltered life, and hoping to find something more to myself.
Since I was a just a tiny human who only cared about getting fed, the occasional diaper change, and a little cuddling; I’ve been given everything . As daddy’s little princess, mommy’s best friend, and my brother’s only “baby sister” (that's what he calls me), they cherished me . Obviously, this means that I was spoiled beyond means, never having to do anything on my own because everything I thought I wanted was already right there in front of me. Yet, why was something always missing ?
What is “it” that I’m searching for?
Is it to search for ways to build a successful future?
Is it to search for something that brings passion to my life?
It is to search for who I’m supposed to be without everything that was given to me.
To search for the “ me ” that I found on my own. Independently.
Love, friendship, success, money, and happiness… they all sound like the golden ticket that could be given to me to complete my life, but how could that lead me to find “myself”? I wanted to search for who I had the potential to be. Whether that meant: meeting new people, experimenting new things, falling in and out of love, figuring out what love is, knowing what brings purpose to my life, finding something I could be passionate about, working, going to school, traveling, doing what I love, or doing what I hate. Every aspect of my life was something I , alone, had to live , because every experience I had could bring me closer to figuring out and building “ me .”
‘Live life through experience. Don't worry about the past, or the future. Live in the present because that’s the time where you can use the past to shape and look towards a better future.’ – a classic but true explanation on to how to truly experience life in order to find yourself.
I’m looking to gain experience, to become wiser, to grow old with someone, to love my family and friends, to live fully with no regrets, to move forward from my past, to be able to get through all the obstacles I face, and to live .
That is the “ me ” I hope to find.
I agree with your statement about how although love, friendship, success, money, and happiness may seem like it could complete your life, but it won't help you find yourself as an individual. I also agree with your statement regarding experience and how it will help bring you closer to your desires. I think that experience pulls us closer to realization and helps shape our decisions and actions, and ultimately help build character. I also enjoyed how you questioned what you are really looking for because most of us still have a vague understanding about our future.
Unlike a lot of people, including Siddhartha, I do know what I’m looking for.
I am what people refer to as a “planner”. I find my security though plans. I have my whole ideal life drawn out. In a perfect world, I would attend Point Loma Nazarene University and graduate at age 23 after a 5 year Master and credential program to become an elementary school teacher. I’ll be happily married some day between the ages of 23 and 28 and eventually have two children and live happily ever after in our home with not a worry in the world.
Here’s the problem with that. As wonderful as it may sound, there is no guarantee of that happening for me, therefore, no security. This frightens me and drives me absolutely wild.
I’ve been in and out of various relationships in search of love. (Whatever that means when you’re only a teenager.) Not to say that there isn’t plenty of love for me within my family. I’ve got my parents and four older brothers and everything is fine and dandy, but it’s just different. They kind of have to like me. It doesn’t take much work to get them to like me for me. I like the challenge of love with someone that isn’t related. And one day, like many of us, I hope to get married to somebody I will love for the rest of my life!
As for happiness…this is the root of one of my greatest fears. Happiness is one of the most important things to me. I am terrified of growing up and not being happy. Life has been so great for these 17 years I have lived, and it scares me that being kicked into the real world could make that disappear. I honestly don’t care how I end up in the end, as long as I am happy. That is all that matters. Although I admit I feel kind of silly saying this after reading “The Futile Pursuit of Happiness” today.
Now departure day is rapidly approaching. It is closer than we think. We fool ourselves by thinking it’s no big deal because it’s still 9 months away, right? But it’s coming faster than any of us can imagine. Come to think of it, high school seems to have passed by faster than anything I have ever experienced.
The clock is ticking…
So as of right now, I have all of the things I’m looking for. I live my happy, comfortable life knowing my every move and having love from my friends! (Which I have accepted is the only non-related love that I need right now.) However, with graduation coming up, to me that means the loss of all of these things. I’ll have to live at college, away from the comfort and security of my home, away from the friends that I have grown to love, and there is that lingering fear that I will be unhappy, due to the lack of security and love.
I am confident that I will find my way. Everyone seems to eventually. I must remind myself that I will always have the love and support from my family and friends here to back me up.
But I can’t lie here. As scared as I may be, I am way more excited to start this new season of life soon. I know by then I will be ready.
So life… bring it .
Hi Lauren, great job on your writing. I couldn't agree more with the overwhelming feeling of leaving everything and everyone behind but I love that you are so confident in search of what you're looking for. Hopefully security, love, and happiness will find their ways to you when you do attend Nazarene University.
Thank you, Sandy!
And I could not agree more with you on your post about wanting time to slow down! It really does feel like just yesterday we were still so small, waiting for some growing up to happen. It's funny how now that the time to grow up is here, we want that childhood back!
I really like your writing style, and I can sense your voice throughout your words! I really do like it. I understand what you mean when you say there are absolutely no guarantees on getting all that you planned for, and you’re right, it truly sucks. But I just want to let you know that sometimes when we try and plan our whole lives out second by second and expect everything to fall right into place, we get disappointed. I just want to encourage you to keep an open mind and heart when you encounter those legendary first moments in college (I really hope you get into that awesome sounding university) and just remember that life has got surprises for us that we don’t plan for, but I’m sure everything will turn out amazing for you. Don’t worry so much about happiness either, because I assure you one day you’ll find what truly brings you joy. Love your writing by the way!!!
Thank you so much Christy!
That was so encouraging and i really appreciate what you said!
Thanks for the advice about being open minded and open hearted. I really try to be! The pleasant, unexpected surprises that life brings are always the best.
Wow. Amazing. I love the confidence you have. Your voice was loud and clear. Literally, the last line blew my mind. I just know, you're going to OWN life.
Hey. Its all the words I ever got from my father that was something positive... I never got to know my father. He left me when I was one and never heard a word from him ever again until one night when I was about six years old. He called for the first time in my life, but it wasn’t a call to say hi to me, it was a call for my mother questing her to show up to court for legal rights over me. I picked up the phone that night, heard “Hey, is this your mom?” I thought, “Wow its my dad, did he want to come see me? I want to see him.” I got my hopes up...until i found my mother in the kitchen with her face blazing red like a chili pepper. I never got to hear what my father was exactly like because it was my mom who told me who he was, but all the things my mother says can and are sometimes objective. I’ve called my father recently, like two weeks ago asking him to help pay me some money so I could register. Told him that I was eighteen now, and that I can’t receive child support any more. He has been only paying me $190 a month for child support since he left. Not even enough to buy groceries for the month. I called him and he says, “ Nope, that’s not going to happen even though I am making $26,000 every three months, not one penny...” I finally realized who he actually was, the type of person he was, his first impression that he gives to me when I’m a man who understands things unlike a little kid who is always clueless (totally me). So I don’t really know how to properly answer how this sentiment is accurate or not because, well, I never had a father figure in my life, and a father who cared about me. But I can say that this sentiment is accurate between the relationship of me and my mother. Like Mr. Feraco’s father, who “every time I hinted that I wanted him to make the decision for me, he refused”. My mother was the same. I would ask her help or what she thought about this, and she would say, “ I don’t care, it’s not for my own good, but for the better of your future (obviously this quote might sound weird because my mom forgot her english grammar).” This started when I first moved and came to Arcadia back during the summer going to my 8th grade year over at Dana. Now, when I think back, I think I’m glad my mother did that, it helped my decision think by a lot. I look back, though some of our decisions weren’t very mature, I always wonder what would happen if I didn’t make those choices, if I had chose something else, would I still be here, where I am? I think my mother would make the same decision as Siddartha’s father. But then she just can’t wait to get rid of me...
I think it’s very hard to say whether or not I will be the father who just shows them the path. I also believe that that is what I will be doing. I think going through change is something that can’t really be helped or shown in examples, I think it’s is something we all have to face ourselves and experience it on our own. We can tell our kids what we did to help give them ideas but we can not help move them to a path, it’s something they must take and endure on their own. I think Siddartha’s father is also wise in letting Siddartha go and leave the village. His father shows that he respects what Siddartha wants to do and what he thinks is best for himself. I also admire Govinda’s decision because he’s afraid of become a bad Brahmin, he can’t take the heat. He’s very loyal to Siddartha and I think Govinda makes better choices when he is around Siddartha. I would admire Siddartha for his choice because he’s growing up and is learning how to take care of himself, learning how to become a man now. Soooo yeaa. I think what I’m trying to look for right now, is something that can help fuel me, my motivator, to help me get through the challenges that I am and will be going through.
I really like your post. You didn't talk about grades, a summer fling, or some trivial matter that everyone else wrote about (including me); you wrote about something that really had an impact on your life, and something that is very true about the world today, yesterday, and in the future. The world is not all daffodils and ponies, but gritty, grimy, and not that great.
The experience you're going through seems very painful and the path you'll walk sounds very difficult. My heart goes out to you man.
Purpose. Everyone’s got one, and everyone is on their way to finding it. Well at least, almost everyone. Everyone should, anyway. It is something so essential to life—it is life – and yet, it can be so neglected and ignored. Some people believe that life is about to living to the fullest, which I agree with whole-heartedly, yet the concept of “fullest” is lowered down so much to the point where jumping off cliffs and having a big house and being happy is full. Is that really what fullness is meant to be?
It can’t be.
In my strange, misty head, fullness is not happiness. After all, happiness can only be the effect of what’s HAPPening. That won’t last long. I think fullness is doing what you’re meant to do, without the thought of whether it will make you happy or not, and once you’ve done it and you’ve filled your life to the brim of purposeful and wonderful things, you may just have the right to say you’re full. But even then, once you think you’ve done everything, you’re not done until you die. Why waste a moment satisfying yourself by the somewhat petty things you’ve achieved when you can still do more?
You can always do more.
Nothing’s over til you’re over.
I keep thinking back to a question I was once asked (ahem*) about what to do when faced against that which cannot be defeated. And I believe the answer is simple. Just do it. I say, if you’re still alive, you’re still winning. Who cares if whatever nonsense can’t be defeated, it hasn’t met you, has it? Either way, it goes with living life to the fullest. You live til you die. So live. Move forward. Fight til the death, because that’s what we’re meant to do every day.
That’s what I long for. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a fight. I’m looking for purpose.
I have this haunting and frightening feeling that if I don’t find my purpose of living and fulfill it, I literally would have failed in life. I don’t feel like wasting my life. And I can’t possibly be satisfied with normality. I know for a fact I’m not meant to. None of us are. I’m sure Siddhartha knows that. All of us are meant for amazing things. Not eating exotic food or performing parkour from the window the wall. As true as the statement is, living the “YOLO” life isn’t quite good enough. We do only live once. Everyone knows. So why not live with purpose, for something not for yourself which could only take you so far. But instead for something great, astounding, world-changing, unique. Everyone has a purpose. No one is meant to be a space-taking, air-hogging, fatty. I want to be able to say as I die, “All right, I’ve done everything in my power to try and make this darn place better. You can thank me later.” Though in reality, I’ll never be looking for thanks or satisfaction. I’ll be looking for something greater, along with anyone else who feels like searching.
I love how you answered Mr. Feraco's question: Just do it. If you're still alive you're still winning. I love that! I like how you redefined 'living life to the fullest' by saying that life is a fight. It sounds strong. Don't give up till you die. I love it!
Hahaha, your post really cheered me up!
Your writing is has a great voice to it, and I would characterise it as "spunk". It's quite refreshing to read after wadding knee deep in cold, robotic posts.
I also really like the HAPP in happening you've put in there, and I also like your word choice.
"No one is meant to be a space-taking, air-hogging, fatty."
Kick-ass post in my opinion, awesome!
My apologies for being dense, (maybe it's all the chlorine), but what does the "HAPP" mean?
Thanks in advance
As the third born in the family, my parents have already experienced Departure Day… twice. With my sister, they were relieved for it meant that their first born had been accepted into a college and in 4 years was graduating with her diploma. For my sister, it meant freedom. With my big brother, they were also relieved, for he would be following my sister to UCR. For my big brother, it meant having to take up the responsibility of making his own decisions. Luckily for him, he had his older sister to help guide him. At the arrival of my D- day, my parents have already told me that wherever I go they will support me, but I know that they will be like Siddartha’s father and try to hang on to me as long as they can until they realize that it’s time to let go.
I know that watching their kids leave the house is hard, especially when it goes from a full house where everyone fights to use the restroom, to having it feel empty and lose all the bustling excitement to packed boxes that belong elsewhere. At the same time, it’s heart warming and hopeful to know that the kids that they’ve raised are moving forward with independent lives and becoming the adults that they could never teach them to be, for when D- day comes, they may not want to let go, but they will understand why they have to.
They will have the same realization that Siddartha’s father had: Let them go because they have already left.
Govinda’s choice to follow Siddartha was a leap of faith and the choice was true to his character.
He is a follower. He follows Siddartha out of the village and to the Samana’s and to the Budhha where he stays.
There he finds what HE is looking for although it pains him to leave his friend behind, but in a sense although he is now following Buddha, he is also no longer in the shadow of Siddartha and he is now leading a new life that he chose.
For Govinda, it was a wise choice for he found his life calling. He found what satisfied him in life and if he had never left with Siddartha he may have never found it.
On the factor of loyalty and being a follower I can relate and to Govinda because I am a follower and even though I know that my friend is completely capable of taking care of themselves I would still go with them to support them in any way possible.
I don’t know what I’m looking for. I’m not necessarily looking for an answer to life because if I have life all figured out then where’s the fun?? I don’t want to know why some things happen the way they do because sometimes things just happen beyond understanding and I’m not looking for something that will make life easier either. I’m not looking to take the mystery out of life because taking the mystery out of things take out the fun, the experience, the excitement, and the experimentation.
I want to experience life no matter how difficult my trials become and through that I’ll eventually understand my life in my own way and if I don’t understand all of my life there are some parts that I will eventually fully understand, for although time can make things fairly tangled, time can also unfold things as well.
Hi Joyce. As the oldest child of my family, I have not yet witnessed Departure Day. It is interesting to read about a younger sibling's point of view on Departure Day, since I have been wondering what it will be like. Also, I agree with you when you wrote that figuring out the meaning of life will take out the excitement that comes with experiencing the unexpected. You have some grammar errors in your post, but regardless, this blog entry effectively expresses your ideas.
Thanks for the heads up on the grammar. I'll be sure to reread my writing before I post next time.
I can honestly say that I have had no idea what I'm looking for.
I'm not ashamed to say that I'm completely clueless, but the restlessness certainly has been following me for a while; and it's the emotions and the thoughts that screw up my actions. A feeling of anxiousness has recently been growing more and more. I feel like it must be that I'm so overwhelmed by the college applications and the enormous expectations, followed closely by my own personal issues. It might just be in my head, but I've been feeling unnaturally alone.
Alone with no idea of what I want and nothing to think about except how badly I'd enjoy simply the company of another person. Unfortunately that's what could get me killed. I've emotionally compromised myself during one of the most important steps towards my future. Adults might think I'm being a stupid teenage boy ... People my age might think I have crazy issues, or something ... Well, I don't have insane issues, and I am a teenage boy. (Who might be acting dumb.)
Is a true friend too much to ask for? I mean the kind of person who'll be real with me, and that I could take these nearly impossible steps with.
Reading this you must be thinking "Hey, it really sucks that you're lost and feel like a loner but get over it what do you want?".
I'm getting to that.
I want control over myself. I want independence, and for adults to trust me with adult freedom. I want to be able to stand up for myself when I'm challenged let another person know my morals and who I am.
But I'm not sure if I genuinely want another person to face challenge with, or just somebody to step on and get a leg up.
Being the age that I am it's hard to tell what's happening when it comes to the field of interacting with other people and making relationships.
Right now it feels like what I really want is some help. I'm not quite as solid as Siddhartha, but the journey sounds fulfilling.
First off Aaron, I applaud you for your braveness to express how you truly feel in life, I believe that is a unique quality for a person to find in themselves.
I think my advice or if i had to give an opinion about being lost in the decisions of life.. is simply not being afraid of them.
No one really knows what journey life is going to give you, could be short, or could be long? heck, I don't even know myself. But we all gotta make the journey whether its heading downhill but hopefully heading up the scale.
I like the fact where you listed the qualities you wanted people to see in you and rather give you in life.
Like Mr. Feraco once stated, "All in good time my children. All in good time."
I know how you feel. It feels like through all the trials that you're going through like no one stands beside you and there's no one to rely on or go to and i know what that feels like. I think what you want is also what a lot of other teen agers your age want too. Control, independence, trust with freedom, confidence... etc. Your wants are very realistic and understandable at your age and I like how you're realistic and I like how you're honest in your post.
Kindergarten were the good old days when life was simple, drama had not exist yet, counting was as easy as 1-2-3, learning the alphabet song over and over again… but you never seemed to get tired of it. Ah yes, the very good profound solid memories one creates at that age. All of us at some point have been asked, “What do you want to become when you grow up?” My decision shifted from painter, to a doctor, to a business woman, to a stay at home mom, from a doctor after all, then to an astronomer; point is I never really knew how to answer that difficult question at such a young age.
Siddhartha at his point in life, doesn’t quite understand what he’s looking for yet, but knows there is something great ahead on the road. Just like all of us now as seniors, we don’t quite grasp the feeling of change coming, moving thousands of miles perhaps, or simple as choosing a different road than the rest of your friends.
No one in life really gave us those 1-2-3 directions to foretell the future, but they gave us something marvelous than kid directions… they gave us the choice to dream and invent a plan to help create your own unique path rather than someone making it for you.
What am I looking for? Excellent question Mr. Feraco, my answer… I don’t tell the future, nor do none of my classmates.
“The Secrete to LIFE is not FINDING the secrete
But finding the BALANCE in life".
I figure truly what every person is looking for including myself, is simple as success. We all long for it, all strive towards it and all savor it. I’m looking for a challenge in life that is uniquely designated designed for me.
Even if I don’t accomplish whatever it is that crosses my path (I think I speak perhaps for few not all classmates of mine) if we do not achieve the highest peak in our life, at least we can say we attempted rather than not moving, created an opportunity when there was none to begin with, and can happily sleep at night knowing the struggles and sacrifice you made to make it that far.
I would agree with the first paragraph. Answering “What do you want to become when you grow up?” was and is still very difficult for me. I remember just making it up because I didn't know what to say.
Excellent endng, it really helped tie things together and ended the post wonderfully.
Each stage of maturity came with great packs of responsibility. These responsibilities stacked; it developed from me being able to tie my own shoelaces to preparing for one of life’s greater change, college.
It was only three years ago, had I thought it would take decades for this year to come. It was only three months ago I sat down watching my friend receive her high school diploma. And now it is three weeks from now I will be sending college applications. This feeling was all too astounding.
The thought of college, just months away, made me feel anxious. How am I to survive this drastic change when all my life I have been held by the hand and lifted across the ridges? Without doubt, I held much vulnerabilities when taken out of my comfort spot; however, these cavities had also given me room for improvements. Having relied on “just follow where ever life takes you. What ever happens, happens” throughout my life, I had not set a specific goal for myself; instead, I had always been told what to do.
It is time for change, change in which will challenge me to different paths; the kind of change Siddhartha decided for, a venture in search for a significant something. Although there will be paths that may lead me to dead ends or back to square one, I will continue to search the potential within me and my long term ambitions.
Who is to say what I am supposed to live to be, to be what they want me to be? I will find myself. I will be myself. I will follow through with my responsibilities.
I really like your motivation. I think that whatever you face, now or the future, if you try hard enough you will be able to pull yourself through. Soon all of us will be able to wield greater control over our lives. I certainly will enjoy it. I hope you do too.
Thank you Steven! Your comment was reassuring, I was a little hesitant about my post after reading other people's. I hope things turn out nicely for you!
I think that is great you see college as an escape from your parent’s control. For me it’s going to be the same. Since my parents want me to go to a college nearby. Hope your paths will lead you through!
Do I know what I’m looking for? No, I don’t know what I’m looking for. Do I even know where to start looking? No. Simply put, if this were a race, I wouldn’t even be at the starting line. I’d be in my car, driving to the race.
All of a sudden though, I’m approaching an intersection, and I have to turn left or right. It’s not a through-street; I can’t simply just go straight. If I went straight, I’d be crashing into someone’s living room while they’re watching How I Met Your Mother.
Should I turn right, or should I turn left?
When I really think about it though, when I really look at that intersection, it’s more than just about turning left or right.
It’s more than a simple turn of the wheel.
When I make my turn, where am I heading? When I turn right, what’s going to be there? When I turn left, what’s going to be there? Will I be heading towards love? Is it wisdom? Where am I trying to go? What am I looking for when I make my turn?
If Siddhartha lived in the 21st century, where cars are owned by almost everyone, he’d be at that same intersection trying to decide whether to go right or left. Now unlike me, Siddhartha knew where he was going in life. If Siddhartha went left, he’d be leaving his home and his family in search of understanding the world. If Siddhartha went right, he’d be staying with his family. He thought about it greatly, and when he reached that intersection, he put on his left blinker, and turned left. He knew what he was looking for in life, and he knew exactly where he was going.
Sadly, Siddhartha does not live in the 21st century; I can’t ask him how he found what he was looking for. Although I can’t really ask anyone how they found what they were looking for. Everyone is different from each other; no one found what they were looking for the same way as someone else did.
There is only one thing that I can truly understand when looking for what I want. The way to find it is not with my mind, but with my heart. What I feel inside will direct me to what I’m looking for, and what I want.
What became one of the saddest parts of my life, became the most important as it has turned into the basis of my way of life.
Years ago, I truly understood what it meant to follow my heart, and to this day, I let it guide me through life.
Most of us know what it feels like to have feelings for someone else, and that person having the same feelings towards you. For those who don’t know, it feels wonderful, like things couldn’t get any better. During this time, I was happy, and I felt like nothing could rain down on me. The problem was, while things couldn’t get better, things could get worse. Things could get bad, really fast, and they did. The day I decided that this girl wouldn’t be who I married in the next 20 years, is the most important part of my life.
I hit an emotional dip; I lost my smile.
We stopped talking to each other. Nothing was the same anymore. I felt pure sadness.
This was the best thing to ever happen to me, and nothing will ever be as life-changing as this.
I kept thinking of what I had done. I tried going through the pros and cons over and over again. Every time I did, I couldn’t help but believe I just made a big mistake, the biggest I ever made. My mind couldn’t see why I did what I did, and it would never be able to.
This was not something that my mind could see; only my heart could really see it. The day I realized that my heart would guide me through this sad part of my life, was the day I realized it would guide me through my entire life. I let my heart do my thinking; I let my heart take over.
After two years of letting my heart make the decisions and take over, I’ve realized just how happy I’ve become. My smile has returned.
She and I have fixed our friendship, and now we’re back to normal; we’re friends. We’re not together, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. My heart knows that; I know that.
My heart tells me what I want, it tells me which way to turn, and it tells me what I’m truly looking for.
I’m back at the intersection.
The big question: what am I truly looking for? The answer is still no.
That answer still eludes my heart; it still eludes me.
Yet I’m OK with accepting that. My heart will tell me to go left or right. My heart will tell me what’s on the left and what’s on the right. When it tells me, I’ll be ready. I’ll know what I’ve been looking. I’ll know what I want.
I’ll be happy.
Truthfully, I've faced similar dips in my life where I never imagined possible. However, like you said, your heart is your guide and I strongly uphold that. Everyone faces that one moment in their life where they stop thinking and just let their feelings and life guide you through it, and it's hard to imagine at first, but it truly becomes a lesson that everyone remembers.
The intersection is a great concept of how people decide one way or the other. And how I feel towards that, and maybe you have to, is college, where we choose to move on from our childhood lives.
This really shows how no choice should be taken lightly and how different life can be by taking the other road but even in chess you can never know the outcome by just predicting a few moves.
Siddhartha's father fell into despair when his son asked for permission to leave his supervision. Siddhartha was looking for the path where he'd finally be able to reach a level of content rather than just being recognized as a man of knowledge and magnificence. He wanted to search for his own kind of happiness by joining the Samanas. Regardless of the situation, his father knew that although physically Siddhartha was still at his feet, spiritually, his mind has already wandered to a far place in which can only be reached if he travels on his own. When his father refused to let him go, Siddhartha protested with no intention of giving up. His father constantly reminded him that Siddhartha will grow tired and fall asleep, while he himself, would not. As hours passed, his father soon realized that Siddhartha's soul and mind was filled with nothing but determination. His father then approached him and approved of his decision and told him to come back when he finally finds his happiness and to teach him all his acquired knowledge.
After 17 years of slowly building my life to reach up to my parent's expectations, I still can't imagine the day that I will finally have to depart into my own grown life. Rather than my parents embracing my stage of becoming an adult, they dread the day that they could finally stop calling me their baby girl. As the day slowly creeps closer, the love of my parents will never leave my side whether I'm just a few steps down the hall way, or if I'm on the other side of the world studying abroad. Just like Siddhartha's father, my mother will refuse to let me take that one step out the door that opens my future. Although the beginning of my own life without the support of either of my parents is inevitable, my mother will hold on until the last strand just in order for me to be kept within her love. Just like Siddhartha, I would never leave a home without the intention of coming back to what I grew up with.
There comes a time in each of our lives when we realize what we want to do in life. When that happens, we set goals for ourselves and ultimately know who we want to become in the future. And what once seemed to be a hazy and vague aspiration becomes more pronounced than it has ever been before. It may seem like the most obvious thing in the world to a person, but this realization continues to retain its novelty.
Some of us have reached this realization already and others have not.
I have not.
Having an older sister, my parents had always wanted her to follow in their footsteps. They wanted her to enter a 4-year university from the start and eventually become a dentist just like them. She realized that pursuing dentistry as a profession was not what she had wanted to do in the future. Not only did she cringe at the sight of blood, but she had always excelled in art. It was junior year when she realized her dream. She wanted to become a graphic designer and from that point forward, she continued to follow her passion.
When my sister failed to follow in my parents footsteps, I became the next person in line to experiment with. Perhaps I would follow after them and make their businesses thrive after their departure.
As I slowly develop into a young adult, I have taken in consideration many professions, but the only one that seems to stand out is dentistry. Although dentistry is the only profession on my mind as of right now, I will not confine myself to one option. I still question myself whether or not I really want to follow in their footsteps or if I am just trying to meet certain expectations.
Do I want to do this to please my parents?
Do I want to do this for the money?
Do I want to do this because I want to?
Even today, I still can’t provide an answer to any of those questions. Just as Siddhartha is doing, I am on a quest in search of the conclusive answer to the enigma of my destined role on this earth. I do not fully quite understand what I am looking for, but I can hope that I am following the right path.
My own path towards happiness and fulfillment.
I can not put a time stamp on when I will experience an epiphany, but I do know one thing.
I will experience it.
I remember those days when life as a kid, we can explore the multiple opportunities that a person can be from a doctor, to a businessman. But as time passed by, we continue to narrow down our options. I too, agree that I may not know what I am going to be in the future, despite saying what I want to be now.
Eventually we all find what we want to be, and I hope that you will come to the day when you know for sure what you want to be.
I believe that the sentiment is accurate. I feel that no matter what my own parents have done for me, sooner or later im going to break away from them. Im not sure if its just because ive been with them so long but there comes a time where you dont want them around as much. When we were little we always wanted our parents and no matter what they were there for us but now, we see ourselves kind of edging away from them while they try to hold on to us.
My parents act as your did. Im not sure what path i want to take so i try to hint for them to make those decisions for me because if i did make a decision that they didnt approve of it would devestate me. I’d rather not take risks in dissapointing them but they insist on me making my own decsions and building my own path.
I would let them make their own path as mine have, if the decsions were reasonable. It all comes down to whether my child would be happiest doing whatever he or she wishes to do. If i can see that they care deeply for a certain thing i will push them to strive in it but if they aren’t sure then i certainly won’t be. So i think i would do as my parents did.
I believe that Siddartha’s father really didnt have any choice whether his son can leave or not. He knew that he had already left, that he was indeed ready to make his own path and since Siddartha’s decisions were set and absolute he felt allitle more at ease with letting him go.
I myself would not make such a decision. Govinda in aiding in Siddartha’s path and not his own. This is a very unwise choice. He is so loyal that he is willing to live his life for someone else and not himself. I would not follow my best friend to a place i did not desire to go. I would very much like us to stick together but i believe that everyone has there own path to make, and if you walk the path of someone else then you not being true to yourself.
I believe that Siddartha made a reasonable choice to leave home to find something greater. He left for something important, something he believed in. If i needed to find more to life than what i already knew then i would absolutely make the choice he made. I see it as questions that must have an answer. Some wouldnt go to such extremes to find answers because it did not mean as much to them as it did to Siddartha.
I’m looking for a defined line that destincts right from wrong. I have the common sense to know what certain things are right and wrong but when it comes to big decisions i could look at it from different perspectives and no matter what find the answer wrong. I would like some stabability in my choice making. Im hoping to find an absolute answer here in this class.
Honestly, I admire both Siddhartha and his father.
Siddhartha’s father decision is not only beneficial to his son, but also for the continuation of Brahmins traditions. If Siddhartha’s father stubbornly refuses for his son to depart, he will drive his son to lose passion for the religious practices completely and end the family legacy right there. In the end, Siddhartha’s father was wise enough to not kill two birds with one stone.
I admire Siddhartha, because he puts up a fight for what he wants, regardless of whom or what he is up against. If I have even half of Siddhartha’s stubbornness and passion, I can overcome my mom’s unreasonable decisions and be able to make my own choices in life.
That is the thing with most moms; they are so paranoid about their children to the point where they decide everything for their children. That would be my mom.
There was one time when she asked if she could move to a place near my college. At first I thought she was kidding, but she was dead serious. My mom did not want to separate from me, I was her, well, everything. She did not want me to go off to a dangerous and unfamiliar place without her there protecting me.
Honestly, I did not want to separate from her either. We were always together, we faced hardships together, we fought against problems together, and we made happy memories together. However, I can’t live my life under my mom’s wings anymore.
I want to break away from that warm, safe nest that my mom has built.
Like Siddhartha, I want to experience the world with all five of my senses. I want to go into the wilderness and discover my potentials. I want to be in control of my future. I want to make the decisions. I want to be myself.
Siddhartha is definitely a great inspiration, because now, it is my turn to break away and search my passions and true self.
Almost everyone tries to fit in. People have the tendency to follow the trend, “go with the flow.”
But why do we feel this way?
We want to be in groups. We want to feel accepted. We want to belong.
So we conform. And that is how we lose ourselves. I’m sure all of us have at least seen a student and thought, “Wow. He’s such a freak.” Is he really the freak? Are we too blind to understand that being different is good? Or are we too ashamed to deviate from the norm and stand out?
I remember transferring to Foothills Middle School in sixth grade. It was nerve-wracking. I was alone; I knew nobody. But once I made my first friend, I held on. I would have never guessed the rough road I was in for. I wanted more friends. I wanted popularity. And that took control of me. I was losing myself. Eventually, I was gone. I was absorbed into the dark abyss of conformity, stranded by the chains. Of course I was not happy. So I moved circles, trying to find where I could fit in. And I never found it. Why? Because I lost myself, I was unable to feel satisfaction, to feel happiness.
I want to understand what I do and why I do it. I want to create my own path and find the clearing. I want to experience life to its fullest extent possible. I want to be ecstatic, be heartbroken, be sarcastic; I want to feel.
Most importantly, I want to accept myself for who I am and what I do. So...what am I looking for?
I loved your post!I can totally relate to having to move to a different school and i know how it feels. I too wanted to fit in and i was often temtped to conform just to make new friends, but I stayed true to myself and found friends that accepted me for who i am, not what they wanted me to be. I loved the theme of conformity, im sure many high school students can relate to the topic. It was a good choice. I'm sure that if u keep looking, you'll find yourself! keep searching! never stop!
I have been in your shoes before. Everyone wants to be a part of something.
Through the years of trying to fit in, I finally realize something: there is always a group of people that will accept me for who I am and there is the other group of people that will not accept me what so ever. So I make friends, who accept for both my good and bad sides. To me, that is true friendship, which can last a life time.
It is nice that you are back on track and realize that being yourself is the best choice.
No one really wants the day when the baby bird must leave the nest, but it’s something we need to happen. How else will the pioneers of the future do those great things they are destined to accomplish? Clinging to our parents for support won’t give us the complete feel of free will. Many parents know this as did Mr. Feraco’s father. Since my parents know all about making me clean up my own mess, this is how I know that they can only wish time slows down or they can have me spend 25 hours a day with them because I must leave someday to make my own choices and let me go to make my own mistakes.
The way Govinda dropped everything immediately to follow Siddhartha was brave above all else. He was brave and ignorant, but he is also young so by him following the lead of his dear friend, it is a way for him to take a risk and find his own purpose along the journey he takes with Siddhartha. Although I want to think that no one will be the reason to steer a big part of my future, I know that someone will get the best of me and I’ll make a decision to become closer with that person.
The world spins so there’s no time to stop moving. Keep going is the mission. I’ll know it’s complete when I find serenity and ever lasting happiness.
I love the last sentence of your post! I strongly agree with it. Just keep going Mike, never lose that faith. Good luck and i wish you the best!
The day I leave my home in Arcadia is drawing closer every second. I am excited at the prospect of beginning a new chapter of my life, a chapter in which I will have more chances to think for myself and to make my own decisions. Thus, I can finally mature and become an adult. Similar to Siddhartha, I want to go out into the world and gain life experiences. I believe that Siddhartha made the right choice by leaving his home to join the Samanas, because it is inevitable that his parents will no longer be able to control his life. Siddhartha has a desire to lead his own life, without being influenced by others. Although I want more guidance than Siddhartha does, I still share his belief that parents can no longer take absolute control over their children’s lives as the children approach adulthood.
There is a stereotype that Asian parents are dictatorial about their children’s futures. While it is true that many Asian parents want their children to attend certain prestigious universities or to obtain certain careers, this stereotype is definitely false. My parents are Chinese, and they do not have a certain preference about what I do in my future. Of course, they still wish for me to be successful. They just want me to have the freedom to choose which college to attend and which career to obtain. Like Mr. Feraco’s father, my parents prefer to let me take control over my own future. Discussions about my future plans have frequently sprung up at my family’s dinner table. During these conversations, my dad often advised me to find and pursue my interests. He told me countless times that he wants me to lead a happy life. I am grateful to have such a father, since he shares my belief that parents should encourage their children to make decisions regarding their own futures.
I already know that my parents care for me very much. Oddly enough, they have not shown reluctance to let me go. Maybe it is because they are hiding it so that they do not prevent me from pursuing my dreams. Or maybe it is because Departure Day is still a while from now, and they will not feel the reluctance until later. If they eventually feel hesitation to let me go, I am sure they will make the wise decision Siddhartha’s father makes. Siddhartha’s father realizes that his son is no longer under his control, something every parent must realize about their own sons and daughters. Siddhartha needs independence in order to gain a better understanding of his own life. I will also eventually have that independence. Currently, I do not have a specific idea of how that independence will influence my future. However, I am determined to shape my future into something that I can be proud of.
I can totally relate to your post, mine parents gave me almost complete freedom in choosing my college and major, and while the freedom and the lack of guidance is slightly scary, it is still very rewarding to know that they trust me to do the right thing.
Good luck on finding your own path!
I enjoyed reading your post and is good to have independence even tough is scary to make our own choices.
“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness.” -Stacey Charter
I learned as a young child that it was nearly impossible to rely on others. You can not always depend on your parents to feed, to provide shelter, and to guide you. At some point or another you have to grow up and learn to do things on your own and for your own self. You can not always rely on your friends because they too have their own lives to live and cannot be there every time that you are in need of them.
Siddhartha made the decision to leave his father because he is a seeker. A seeker that cannot find what he is looking for. (hopefully he will by the end of the book) I also am searching. Searching for what? I have no clue. Sometimes I expect myself to find what I have been searching for all my life and eventually find it like how one would find one’s own lost puppy.
“Oh there you are, I have been looking for you. Thank god you are safe. I have missed you”
But perhaps the thing that is keeping me from being able to search is my mother’s love for always telling me what to do. Her rationale behind everything is “I only want what is best for you because you are my baby”. I hope that she realizes soon that I will eventually have to make decisions for myself so I can handle myself in the adult world. I hope that, like Siddhartha’s father, she will realize that I can “no longer remain with [her] at home-- that [I] already left [her]”.
Friends are crucial because as humans, we need social interactions and people to support us. But they must live their own lives and search what they are searching for. Take Govinda for example, he eventually leaves Siddhartha to go on a different path. Even though Govinda believed in Siddhartha wholeheartedly he still ended up choosing his own way in life instead of following Siddhartha as his shadow.
Even though Siddhartha felt that Buddha “robbed” him, he realizes that Buddha gave “Siddhartha, [him]self.” In the end he learned that he wasn’t losing anything, but instead he gained. Maybe one day I will look back on the decisions that were made for me by my mother and realize that I have gained from them. Maybe I will realize that instead of looking back bitterly, because I could not make decisions for myself, I will thank her for doing everything she has done for me. Just maybe.
Hey its Bonnie!
Well anyways hello to you. I like this post. I have never seen this side of you or maybe I just never found the time to realize this. I like that you say that we need friends to interact with but we all have our own ways to go in life.
Keep it up:)
I’ve always looked forward to the whole “leaving the nest” experience. For me, though, it’s not really about leaving home, as much as it’s about leaving the world I’ve known almost all my life.
My dad was born in Arcadia in the 1960s. He spent his formative years here, growing up in an upper-residential suburban community. He went to all the best schools Arcadia had to offer. After college and business school, he bought his own house in the city at the age of 23. When I was born, we moved to a private community in San Dimas, but after a while he began to hate it, and we purchased another home in Arcadia.
Now, I’ve spent my formative years here. I’ve grown up in the same upper-residential community. I’ve attended the same schools. I’ve traveled the exact same path, coloring neatly in the lines that have already been drawn for me. It’s no secret that my dad wants me to start at Berkeley, as he did. It’s not surprising that he expects me to take over his position in the company for which he works. And of course, he’s done his best to insure that this city has been good to me, most likely hoping that I’ll spend a good chunk of my life here.
But I don’t want those things.
I don’t want to lock-step to the expectations that lay before me.
I don’t want to go major in business. Law is where I excel. I have no intention of taking over my father’s job for him. I want to be a self-starting corporate attorney. And as much as I love Arcadia, I want to be able to look around one day, years from now, and not recognize my surroundings with the boredom that comes with living somewhere for 15 years.
“Isn’t there something in living dangerously?”
I think so.
Just like Siddhartha, I want to break the mold, and live a truly fulfilling life, full of new experiences and unique discoveries. His father allowed him, and I know that when it really comes down to it, my father will make the same wise decision, and let me go out into the world.
I want to see the world in a new way. My way.
Whichever way that is, I’ll decide for myself.
Growing up, my parents have always guided me in which direction to go and what choices to make. I’m looking to be more independent because I know later in life they won’t always be there to fix my problems.
Some day we all have to learn how to survive without our parents because they aren’t going to live forever.
In my junior year I counted on my mom to push me to work harder. I barely studied for tests because I was too preoccupied with sleeping, watching TV, or going on the computer. Whenever she would catch me not studying, she would rant about how it would effect me later on in life and that if I didn’t care then she wouldn’t either.
I find it funny because I’ve heard that rant at least 10 times. Each time I heard it, I thought to myself,
“Then why don’t you just leave me alone.
You’ve already said you wouldn’t care, yet here you are ranting about why I need to care and put more effort into trying to do better.”
I’ve come to realize why she was so hard on me; she knew that I would regret my bad decisions, and she saw that I had much more potential in me than I did. In the process of trying to be more independent,
I hope it prepares me for college.
I hope I learn to push myself to work harder and use my full potential to go beyond to become a successful adult.
I can really relate to your post. I often found myself doing everything but studying last year. Just keep pushing, and im sure you'll find the motivation you need!
“Good bye”, two incredibly simple words that anyone can say, even new born babies. And yet, the power and meaning they carry behind them so immense that people often loss themselves in the moments of despair caused by these two words.
Ever since I was little, I’ve had had a strong attachment to people. I remembered when I went to Australia with a tour group for two weeks. It was a spectacular trip, but by the time it was over, I was sobbing so hard because I know that I wouldn’t see them again for a long time, that I choked on my own tears. It was also funny that, when I came home, I lost their contact information and thus I cried for another whole week because I know I will never see my new friends again. I had hated the words good bye, I want to be with all the people I know, I want to make new friends, and I wanted to be with all of my friends and have fun together. I know, I was a crybaby, but I also know that I loved the world, and the world loved me back; and that is all that matters.
Ironically, I have grown up hearing and saying this word hundreds of times. To the current me, these two words no longer have any meaning attached to them; they are simply what they are, words spoken and forgotten, swallowed up by the passages of time, meaningless.
I grew up in Taiwan; I had a fun but rather sheltered childhood. But I didn’t know, nor did I care, I had fun and that was all that mattered. Everyone in the class was my friend, the teacher was my friend, probably because of my parents, I was the class vice president; I didn’t care that my life was decided for me. I enjoyed life and learned and studied, everything was perfect. But everything changed in 4th grade.
At the start of 4th grade, I left Taiwan and came to America. Now here is a twist, my father did not come with me, because his simply cannot abandon his business in Taiwan, it was too much of a burden to be left along. He would still come and visit, me, my mom, and brother every now and then; but it is heart wracking. This situation is one hundred times worse than a normal divorce, and it came with all the pain of it plus more. In a normal divorce, a child would understand that his parents could not live together because they do not match each other. For me, I know that they had to sacrifice their own love for each other, not seeing each other for years, just so that I could have a better education. Every time my dad came to America, he would bring a lot of gifts and snacks that I love from Taiwan; and he would spend his time playing with us. He loved us, but he was isolated from us. He couldn’t be with us, because he had a commitment to his employees, and to his company. Every time he left, I would cry myself to sleep because the fact that my dad was so alone in Taiwan, without a family haunted me. The fact that he was willing to work so hard, for something that he cannot see, put me in great despair. Perhaps, with this constant experience of separation, I have grown numb to the meaning of good bye and probably a bit of my “self” has died.
It funny really, in a sense my dad has already sent me to college 9 years ago. And we have barely seen each other in those times. I’m pretty sure at this point, having already sacrificed so much, my parents could care less where I move to; as long it I am moving forward and learning for myself, they will be satisfied.
For me, I just want a peace of mind, and to regain the outgoing happy childhood that I once lost and for the cold, logical, and criticizing person that I currently am. Interesting enough, I believe I have found many answers in the path of psychology; and just like Siddhartha, I will do everything I can to master it.
Do you know what you’re looking for?
Very simply put, no.
Honestly I don’t want to know.
I don’t want to know why the Earth spins.
I don’t want to know when a relationship will end or begin.
I don’t want to know the judgment of others, because I
KNOW that it will affect me.
However I do know that I want to live a life free from the choices that my parents have implemented on me. Siddhartha’s choice of leaving his mother, father, and his dreams for his perfect son is very admirable. Siddhartha wants to make his own path, as do I. My parents have trained me and have taken every single measure possible to help ensure the path of doctor. But I don’t want that. I want to “spread my wings and fly away” I realize however being the oldest of the family that my parents would be devastated by this truth, that all their hard-earned money spent on their 5’7’’ Taiwanese son would be a lost cause. I feel that I would have disappointed them, but both sides cannot win. I love and respect my parents fully, however .just like Siddhartha's dad, they cannot cling to me and control the life I rightfully own...They helped established where I would start, but it's my choice on where I want to end…
I really liked the ideas you had here; personally I agree with a lot of them.
I enjoyed the line "they cannot [....] control the life I rightfully own."
That's a really interesting way to look at it, and I have to say that I agree. Regardless of the pressures we face (be it from parents, teachers, friends, whatever), the only way we can ever be truly content with our lives is if we chose to live them ourselves and not let others dictate what we can or can't do.
Nice piece. Simple and to the point, but also equally complex at the same time. Good job!
When November hits and continuing on to December, I will be applying to major in electrical engineering.
No, this decision was not made by my parents; this is something I truly want to pursue. My parents raised me by allowing me to explore my strengths and weaknesses; some might consider them to have guided me, but I felt I had the utmost freedom. They still suggested me to take certain classes and activities, such as piano, but they had never forced or asked me to do something against my will; my mom would often talk about discontinuing piano because of the time it takes, but I would eventually find my passion for music and always urge her not to. Have I mentioned while I start my studies, I would like to build a collection of various instruments?
But back to what I want to do, it started when I asked to follow my aunt several times to attend the annual JPL open house – she works there as a programmer. I visited many of the launches and exhibitions, such as the Phoenix exhibit, the Juno launch, or the recent Curiosity landing. The thrill that the engineers and programmers had, the enthusiastic shouts, and the overjoyed tears for a successful project, I desire to contribute to that.
But why am I pursuing an electrical engineering rather than studying to obtain an aeronautics engineering, computer programming or computer engineering degree if I am following my aunt’s footsteps?
I am chasing after an electrical engineering major simply because I am not trying to shadow her. If I do end up successfully finish obtaining a college degree, if I do eventually end up in that field, I would like to be able to do various things. Space shuttles, rovers, computers, anything relating to electronics I would be able to contribute to if I follow through with this study. I would also be able to take courses relating to computer hardware and computer programming that will help me if I do end up in this field.
So answer the question whether or not I know what I am looking for, yes, I do, or at least the gist of it. I am not looking for some fancy degree to show off to my acquaintances or colleagues; I am looking to contribute whatever I can to our growing technological world, I am looking to expand my knowledge.
Here we are-- another grand, family reunion. Children bustling, relatives chattering.
The house is alive. And we all have a special treat this time: Alice is in town. I quickly run to embrace my older sister, hauling two substantially large luggages, as she enters the house. Both of us almost topple to the floor.
“We’ve missed you!” my parents exclaim from behind.
“It’s been too long!” cries out my grandparents.
Kisses are blown, hugs are exchanged. We all settle in for dinner at last. As the turkey is being passed around, a wave of silence falls upon my family. The elephant in the room triumphs once more as all our minds seem to revolve around the one same, sensitive topic.
“So, how’s San Diego?” my grandmother inquires.
“Great! Everything’s going just fine,” Alice smiles as she takes a sip of cider.
Boom. My mother fidgets. My step-father clears his throat. Everyone in the room seems to be filled with a sudden discomfort. The subject of unease has been targeted. The elephant in the room has become the center of attention.
“I love it. I love what I do. Nursing is truly rewarding in so many ways,” she replies.
My grandmother sneers. “...but how much do you even make?”
The room grows silent once more. Ever since my sister had decided to trek the journey of becoming a nurse, my family had only grown bitter in disapproval toward her decisions. They saw nursing as a horrible career. It was dirty, tedious, and there were many more job choices out there that she was well capable of doing. Yet as they attempted to yank and pull her toward a different direction, she tugged harder as well. She knew what she wanted.
Slowly, Alice looked up at my grandmother and smiled.
“I make a difference.”
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In the beginning, Siddhartha seems to be characterized with a restlessness. He had mastered the teachings of the Brahmins. He was wise, strong-willed, and loved beyond measure-- yet he was unsatisfied. He was still in search for an indescribable something.
I’ve realized that we are Siddhartha in so many ways.
We make goals. We dream about them, long for them, and do everything in our willpower to reach them. Maybe it’s getting a dream job. Maybe it’s winning an ASB election. We aim, fire, and (hopefully) we score. We rejoice. Or maybe we don’t hit the target. But either way, what comes next?
Yep, we set up another target to aim at.
I don’t believe our goals will ever come to a stop. (Actually, I wouldn’t ever want them to. That would be quite frightening-- a world without any motivation.) Siddhartha kept on searching, and in much the same way, I’m continuously searching to see which niche I’m going to fit in best.
I don’t know where I’m going or what major I’ll be pursuing just yet, but I do have one goal that I wish to stand firm in and be anchored by in all that I do: staying true to myself. Because if I lose myself in the process of living, I wouldn’t really consider myself as having survived at all.
Though everyone had pleaded my sister to change her course, she stayed true to what she wanted. She stayed true to herself.
And even if the world comes crashing down on my front doorsteps, I want to be that person that never lets go. I never want to give in. If I fall, I fall. But I never want to stop getting back up.
A life of perseverance.
This is the last the last year that I will be considered a child, the first year that I have a great responsibility to no one but my self. I am realizing the closer that I get to become an adult that the more my parents are backing away to when I comes to me making a tough choice and that as I look around me no one is there to help me make the tough choice and as the child in me is scared to death that I am going to make the wrong choice the adult is coming out and says yes you are going to make bad choice and yes it is going to be scary that it is ok and what ever is done with enough hard work and aspiration that thing will get better and that and I will get through what ever life gives me.
As I look at my parents I see in there eyes that although I am still living at home I am not a child anymore and that whether they like it or not I am growing up and nothing in the world could stop me from going up.
They see that ever step I take is drawing me closer to adulthood and every time I trip and fall I see them fighting the urge to coming pick me up and tell me were to go they don’t and the stay, they wait for me to get up and keep on walking and then I look to my right or left I see them in the side line just standing there and smiling and even if I ask them to help me make a decision they just tell me, in Spanish, it’s all yours.
In there eyes I am moving on and that the days, weeks, months go by I am no longer walking but I am jogging and I a few more months I will be sprinting and when I make it to college I will make a leap.
A leap to were? Only time can tell and only I can make the choice to were I leap to.
My parents, well they can only wait and watch and follow to were I land. I can tell that they don’t want to let me leave but leave I must and I believe that it is going to be not as hard letting me go because lucky for me my sister just entered high school and now they have another seed to grow and to let make her own decisions, But for now they focus on me with there peripherals on her. As I write this I hear a noise from the hallway in front of my room. The noise is a sigh I say that I haven’t hard in a long time; a sigh only heard when my mother is mad at my sister or me and as I look back I see my mother look at room then at me and smile. I couldn’t help but wonder why she sighed, but then it dawned on me that she was look at all my childish thing the thing that are collecting dust because I have not played with them. Then looking at all the books that are on my bed that I have to read that I have to study and all the thing that I must get done before they time has come to leave.
Now the question is that if they will act as your father did or as Siddhartha’s father did; my response is nether.
They will act as they do and they will do it in there own way.
The decision in which Siddhartha’s father makes is an extremely unselfish one, one that truly would help his son find what he is looking for. But just because he made his son happy, does that automatically make it a wise choice? It all depends on where one rates happiness. Siddhartha had a whole life planned out from him by his dad, it was an extremely safe choice just to stay and fulfill that future, but it wasn’t going to make him happy. On the other hand, is the option of Siddhartha leaving his great future behind and searching for something to make him happy, but with great risk involved, no guarantees. His father wants him to stay, but deep down he knows the truth. Siddhartha has already left, he knows his son will never be as happy as he could have been by doing what he is currently doing, he understands what his son wants, and deep down knows this will be the only chance he has at finding it. He puts his sons’ happiness before that of his own, and allows him to live his own life.
With college growing nearer every day, I wonder how my parents will allow me to make my decision. Will they overshadow my opinion and just ship me off to the college of their choosing, or just leaving me alone, allowing me to make the decision completely on my own and not even give me the slightest hint as to where they want me to go. My parents have always been there for me when I needed help, but the only real question is, do I want help? The fact of the matter is simple, I just don’t know yet. Maybe my dream school will just pop out at me and if that is where I truly believe I want to go, I hope they don’t question what I want, and just accept the choice I make. But alas, I am just a seventeen year old kid with no idea as to what I want to do for college or for the rest of my life, so if I have any indecision about what I want to do, I won’t just want my parents help, I’m going to need it.
But back to the point of what exactly it is that I’m searching for. Since the beginning, I’ve always thought I’d go through elementary school, middle school, high school, and then college. I always thought I had more time, senior year and college have always felt as if they were so far away they would never even get here. And I had always thought I would have known what I wanted to do by now, but I haven’t even come close to finding it yet. I’m lost, but the thing is, I’m okay with it. A lot of people probably know what they want to do, and a lot of people probably wish they knew what they wanted to do. But, I really don’t want to know just yet. I am going to keep changing, so I can’t be certain as to what exactly it is that will make me happy and what I want to do for the rest of my life, or even for college. There are a lot of unknowns for me personally right now, but I know for a fact all of them can be filled with something great.
Humans are self interested beings who are constantly seeking happiness. Happiness is not defined by one thing, therefore, humans seek happiness in a variety of ways. Whether it be materialistic goods, love, and in Siddhartha’s case, wisdom.
Siddhartha embarks on a quest for wisdom and self peace. Like a sponge, Siddhartha has absorbed all of the wisdom and knowledge the town has to offer. Siddhartha appreciates what he has been given, but needs more in order to feel complete.
As stated in the book, “ They (the Brahmins) had already poured the sum total of their knowledge into his waiting vessel; and the vessel was not full, his intellect was not satisfied.”
Siddhartha’s choice to leave with Govinda is admirable. After realizing he has learned all of what was available at home, he looks beyond home for more knowledge. Unlike most people, Siddhartha’s thirst for wisdom is infinite, and he wants to be a better human being. Siddhartha’s persistence and passion should be recognized because he apposes his father’s wishes, someone who he highly respects. This shows how Siddhartha is sacrificing the people he loves for the wisdom he seeks.
I have told you that Siddhartha is searching for wisdom and self peace; although, I have not told you what specifically will bring him such wishes. That is because, I can not tell you specifically what will enlighten him. Like Summer in “500 Days of Summer,” Siddhartha does not know exactly what he is looking for. Only, Summer does not know what will make her fall in love, or even believe in love. Summer simply stumbles upon the one she loves and explains to Tom, “It was meant to be, just like you said. And as it was happening, I knew it. I could feel it, sure as the sun. And I kept thinking to myself ‘Holy ----. Tom was right.’”
I believe, the same will happen to Siddhartha. Siddhartha is looking beyond his home for more knowledge and self peace, but he does not know what will bring him such wishes.
Personally, I know that I want to be happy and make others happy while doing so. In the future, I want to be a professional man who can use my qualities, and resources, to help others. My father has been extremely influential in my life, and I hope to follow his footsteps. I know that if I’m half the man my father is, I will have lived a good, respectable life.
Like Siddhartha, I know what I want to do; I just don’t know exactly how I’m going to do so. There are so many paths to choose from, I don’t know which one to choose yet, but I’m sure I will find something that fulfills my aspirations, and makes me happy.
We can only wait and see what happens.
SFHP – Period 4
6 September 2012
If the time ever came when I would have to make the same type of decisions the fathers made I believe I would be able to. No matter how difficult the decision a father has to decide based on what is best for the child. He cannot let his own desires out weigh the ones of his child. He has to make sure he does what is best for his child to mature and grow. He cannot let his child have all the freedom it desires but at the same time he cannot be to restricting. He has to find equilibrium between freedom and restraint.
A child needs freedom in order to explore and search for what they want in life. They need it to make their own mistakes and learn to fix problems on their own. But at the same time you cannot give them too much freedom or you can lose them completely. You have to know what is too much freedom and what is too much restraint. Too much restraint will result in rebellion and too much freedom will keep him from coming back to you. You have to let them make their own decisions and mistakes but also need to keep them close for when they need you.
One year from now, I will be starting a new chapter in my life. I will be living in a new place, new environment, around new people and attending a new school. This new chapter of my life will be titled "college". For the past sixteen years of my life, I have lived with my mom has made her intention clear to me: to get me in this new chapter and see me succeed.
In doing so, her intentions have motivated me to take on a challenge of starting a new life without my parents. I wanted to get by senior year as fast as possible to experience college life. By the time junior year ended, I realized that I had honestly grown tired of my mom's constant nagging and scolding. I felt that I was already prepared to leave my nest and fly away.
Two weeks ago, my mom left to China to see my dad, who lives/works in China to support my family, and the rest of our family. This was the first time I was left home alone for a long period of time. Frankly, I was looking forward to the time I was going to spend without having to hear about the SAT's or college applications. I needed this break, I thought.
After a few days of performing all of the house chores, I started to acknowledge the hard work my mom puts in day in and day out. School started and I had no time left for anything. I ate out for lunch and dinner everyday and made a nutella sandwich for breakfast everyday. I often felt sick after consuming a 2 pound greasy burger everyday. I started to get tired of this everyday routine.
I started to reminisce about my mom's cooking and constant scolding. This experience made me acknowledge my mom's sacrifices and hard work put in for me. Honestly, as of right now, I sincerely miss her and can't wait till she gets back.
I look at these past two as a learning experience. I now feel that I have a lot more to look for and learn; however I have to look past all this and eventually I will do what I can to succeed to start my new chapter
It is never too bad to be the last person. Because lazy people like me would just scroll down to very bottom and pick whoever to nominate. And you are the lucky one for today.
However, I do indeed like your post. Unlike many posts, yours is the most practical one I have seen so far. It is great, and related to the readers. Nobody likes nagging parents. But when they left you to vocation or business trip, you start to miss them. I feel exact the same way when my mom leaves to China. I miss the fight with her, and her constantly nagging and scolding voice. So much for maternal love. It is amazing how the relationship between us and our parents works.
Anyway. Keep the realistic way of writing up. You will surpass.
i had the same expirience when my mom came to california while we were in Texas we ate rice everyday it was horrible. I missed her too and i felt her absence.
Well, that was more chaotic than it needed to be. Fortunately, you handled it like pros.
Thanks to all who rolled with the punches/glitches for your patience; thanks to those who improvised and e-mailed me your nominations when you hit the cyber-equivalent of a locked door (I promise I wasn't intentionally testing you); and above all else, thanks to those of you who clearly put a ton of thought, effort, and craft into your posts.
Good night, children of mine. I'll see you on the other side of the day.
Hrmm.... Anyone else getting a sense of deja vu?
A little background story of mine, I came from a traditional Chinese family. My parents and all my family members kept me strictly underwatch. Since I was a child, I didnt even have the rights to make any decisions, including how I dress and even my haircut. Because how I look and what I do, people will reflect it back on my parents. In traditional Chinese families, each member has his or her own role in the family, for example, the dad works outside, the mom take cares of the kids. It is mostly the dad who makes all the choices and acts like a “dictator” in the family. My parents picks the colleges for me, chooses everything to me. I understand how it feels when one turns into an adult and still has no voice in the family.
I understand how when a child is restrained and has no voice in the family, he or she will become rebellious. Therefore, I know that I would allow my children to make their own choices and choose their own path. I would let my hands out and let them make their decisions on colleges, on their major, because I understand they will know themselves better than me. I will never pick their majors for them like how my dad does, because I know that they will hate me for life if they do not like their job yet they are stuck in that job for their life. Communication is always better than being forceful. I know when they are old enough to make the decision i have to let go and let them think of the life they want, not what I wanted. I will never want them to step on the path I’m on. I have to let go and give them the right to choose, because strict parents cause rebellious kids, that is always a fact. I also wanted my kids to be independent on making their choices.
A fact about me, I come from a true Mexican family. (even though i don't seem Mexican but that's beside the point) My parents and of course, the rest of my wonderful family have watched my every move since I was born. I was never allowed to make my own choices, such as what schools i wanted to go to or what kind of style clothes I wanted to wear. Because the clothes that we teenagers today wear are not "stylish". To this day, I'm glad they make choices for me. You figure, an average senior in high school ,like myself, is mature enough to make my own decisions. I am not...sadly. Whenever i do try rebel against them, I always lose the war. They pick what college i want to go to and what they want my career to be, really, that's my decision. I know in the future that i will have children, but I'm not gonna choose for my children. If they want to go to a certain school or have a certain career, then let them be. i just pray that they choose the right path into success and not the path that will ultimately haunt them forever.
Departure Day. D-Day. Dooms Day. Death Day.
The day I leave home, never to return. Of course I will visit my parents, and of course I will call. But on the day that I leave for college, there will be a certain finality: I have become a man, and I have entered the world. I won't be able to escape to my parents house and call it home, for it will never be my home again.
My parents will be sad when I leave. The wisdom of building their lives on me and not their career, friends, or another goal is debatable, but the fact is that their lives have centered around me for 18 years, and their center will be ripped away from them.
However, my parents will let me go. They have to let me go. It's an event that they have been prepared for ever since day 1. My parents will cling to me and offer me a thousand bits and pieces of advice, hurriedly trying to impart upon me some of their spirit before I am separated from them, but when the time comes, they will let go. Quietly. Reluctantly.
I know it will be a hard time for them. They will have to fill up the void with something else. Since I am an only child, the day I leave will be even worse for them. I empathize with them, and I admit that it would be difficult for me to make the same decision.
I don't have to leave because I need a purpose, which my parents cannot give me. I have to go because it is time. It's time for the little bird to leave the nest. It's time for the acorns to drop, and be carried away. It's time for the sun to pass by, and for the shadow to loom the other way. It's time for me to go.
I admire Siddhartha for having the courage to leave the village to go out and explore on his own. Sure it is upsetting that he left to go live his own undiscovered life. I have earned the respect and love of my parents enough for them to not want to kick me out of the house. I see that as an accomplishment. My mom keeps telling me that she doesn’t want me to leave the house until I get married, I find that funny. I just agree with her, because I don’t know what the future brings. I really do want to go out on my own like Siddhartha and explore and find myself. Unlike Siddhartha when I find my “future” and my calling I will go back and visit my parents. I won’t leave my parents wondering where I am and what became of me. I am 18 years old and I’m on the brink of getting a job. I will finally be able to work. I will handle work and school at the same time. My dad tells me that he doesn’t want me to leave the house but he tells me to grow up and to get a job so that I can buy myself whatever I want. I agree with him. I will get my own job and study and find what it is that I want to do. I know that at some point I will have to leave my parents but I love my parents and I kind of almost don’t want to leave but I will have to. What a sad and happy day that will be. Until that day I have a lot of work and searching ahead of me. I will do my beast to enter the real world, the “adult world.”
Departure Day is drawing near and I can feel it. Maybe in a year or two, I will be moving out of the easy and comfortable world. I will be going to the outside world just like Siddhartha. Hopefully I can find my identity and learn more about myself during the journey of my independence. I believe my parents or guardians will have a similar decision as Siddhartha’s father. They probably wouldn’t want me to leave, but they will probably understand and let me go search for what I am looking for.
If I become a father in the future, I would love my child but at the same time let him or her be independent when the right age comes. I would want my children to grow by their own decisions, I would give them advice, but I would never pressure them to do what I want. If my child decides to leave at the age of 18 by his own choice, then there will not be anything that will stop them. Siddhartha’s father’s decision is somewhat wise as he had done the right thing to let Siddhartha search for enlightenment. If Siddhartha never left the village, he wouldn’t be able to find enlightenment and he would be the same and never change.
I admire Siddhartha choices because he had no fear, and he had a goal, which was to find enlightenment. I would definitely make the same choice as Siddhartha if I had a goal and knew there were chances to accomplish it, even if it takes time and hard work. Govinda’s decision shows a lot of loyalty and how much love he has for Siddhartha, but I think it was a bad choice in leaving the village he wanted to stay just to follow someone who didn’t really know where he is going. If I was in a similar situation like Govinda, I would probably stay in the village because I could lose everything I have and regret following someone who doesn’t know where is going.
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