Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Uncertain

Something very few people know about me is how much I love to write. Some people have a talent with the spoken word, while others express the emotions best through a simple pen and paper. I would definitely have to be the second one. In my English 2010 class last semester we were asked to write a short personal narrative about an experience we had that led us to a life altering decision. I chose to write mine about last summer and the experiences I have had that led me to choose my major.

{I can hear the tick of the clock in my mind, “tick-tock, tick-tock.” I feel like time is running out. Have you ever felt like you had no purpose, you’re just waiting around to figure out what direction your life is going and feeling like you will never figure it out? Summer time is usually thought of as a care free time that is full of excitement and hope for things to come. With very little thought to the worries of life. Not this year. I’m home for the summer, with no job, no school, and seemingly no friends. Even my best friend now has left for; you guessed it, a boy. I feel no sense of direction, like I’ve been left in the dust. I almost feel like my life is on pause, and I’m not the one with the remote. Like I’m watching a movie and the disk suddenly stops and there is no way to do anything until it gets past the scratch on the disk.
I’ve been sitting in my room, cleaning out old papers, knick-knacks and other random nothings to pass the time that doesn’t seem to move, yet disappears quicker than I realize. I pull out some old papers from the previous summer. I volunteered at The Children’s Center, a center for abused and neglected children that have behavior problems. I had decided to volunteer with my cousin Erika for some volunteer hours and to help keep myself busy for the summer. The papers discuss how to connect with the children and what should and shouldn’t be said when the children are around. Little facts concerning abuse and the purpose for the center. Suddenly memories come trickling back into my mind, like a small water fountain goes around and around.
The little boy who is in foster care, who loves Thomas the Train and has the sweetest, most infectious smile. Or the two year old girl who honestly looks as if she could be a porcelain doll, with her beautiful blond hair and blue eyes. She says little, but will not leave my side. Children giggling in the corner and the constant chatter of kids telling stories of their daily adventures of make believe. These children who have been through such difficult experiences at such a young age, yet still open their hearts to those who will simply listen and be their friend.
I also think of the not so pleasant memories of the center, the girl who is always throwing a tantrum and causing trouble, “hey I want that toy,” and “no, I had that first” as she gets in everyone’s way and competes for attention. The craziness of having twelve three year olds running around, stinky diapers, paint on the carpet from art projects, competing for attention and toys, children who will not listen to instructions and only want to do things their own way. Children who have been shown little gratitude or love, so they act out in the only way they know how.
Yet amidst the chaos, a child giggling, playing in the sand box with the little red pale and shovel, kids asking me to push them on the train, chasing beautiful monarch butterflies through the playground and reading Froggy books over and over again. The joy of such simple, everyday pleasures that all too often adults fail to recognize in the eyes of a little child. So often focusing on the hustle and bustle of daily life forgetting the most important things in life are really the people we love and care for.
Slowly I come back to the present; I’m still alone in my bedroom, the silence of my empty home, as a salty, wet tear falls from my selfish eye. As I sit here reminiscing of the laughter and tears of those little children with so much hope and love in their hearts, all while battling their own fears and limitations. Maybe, there’s more to life than my tiny, self-absorbed world. In the faces of these children I am better able to see the reason for life may not just be in always looking for ways to please myself but in the care of these children who have so much potential for greatness yet need those to help them along the way as they heal from past experiences beyond their control.
I now feel a better sense of what direction I want to lead my life. Such a seemingly insignificant experience that has now led me to a whole new path I never would have imagined for myself. Yet maybe sometimes it is through these ordinary and difficult experiences that we as individuals truly learn who we are and what we hope to accomplish in our lives. If only I can help one child lead a healthier and more stable life, all the countless generations that may be saved from the trials these children have faced will make everything worth it. I realized after a whole year of the uncertainty of what direction I wanted to go with my life that what I want most is to work with children who have been victims of abuse. Even though I may not have everything figured out and although I still sometimes feel lost in time. I know that somehow it will all work out, because everything changes sooner or later. It’s up to me to decide what path I will take in my life as I continue towards the uncertain, yet full filling future that lies ahead of me. }

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