Climb Every Mountain
Payal D. Ahuja, 2nd Place
As a tween about to enter middle school, I feel that my life is changing rapidly. I have come a long way from my Barbie doll days and have started to think more about my future. One of the things I wonder most about is what I would like to achieve in life. Like everyone else, I too have goals and dreams. My dreams are a very important part of my personality and form the core essence of me as a person. My dream gives my life a sense of meaning and purpose and pushes me to try my best to achieve what I want.
My dream is to become an architect. Being good at both math and art, this is my natural choice. I know that it is going to involve a lot of hard work and perseverance to make a place for myself in this highly competitive field, but this doesn’t scare me. Instead it motivates me to try hard. I have many short term goals too, such as being on the swim team and I practice a lot to achieve this goal as well. Yet, I realize that all my dreams may not be fulfilled no matter how hard I try. Fulfillment of a dream also involves many external factors over which I have little control. Still, I feel that one shouldn’t stop dreaming and become discouraged if one’s efforts are not rewarded. If my dreams do not come true, I would still feel grateful for the pleasure my dream gave me and put it behind me as a useful learning experience. I would never stop dreaming and would instead evaluate my strong points and adjust my goals accordingly.
For me, the support of my family is very important. I would like them to be a part of my dreams. However, as an Asian kid growing up in the U.S, I am frequently caught between the conflicting values of Eastern and Western culture. I’m confident that my parents would support me in all my academic pursuits, but unlike my American friends, I cannot count on my parents’ support if I make unconventional choices. My parents would never accept my decision to join a rock band or become a sports coach. No matter how long my parents may have stayed in the US, no matter how many American values they may have adopted, my parents will never give me permission to experiment and find my own direction in life. This attitude of my parents confuses me a lot as they came to the US to give us, their children, a better life with more comforts and better opportunities. Why then do they limit our choices?
My dreams keep changing constantly and I cannot say how I would feel a few years from now when I’m in high school. Certainly I would never want to realize my dreams at the cost of hurting my parents, but at the same time I am a unique individual with a distinct personality. I don’t think I’d like to shape my life according to somebody else’s choices. I feel that if I am going to spend my entire life doing something, then it is very important that I love what I choose to do.
To conclude, I feel that we must try our level best to attain our dreams. I am inspired by the words of Mother Abbess from the all-time favorite “The Sound Of Music”:
Climb every mountain
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow
Till you find your dream.