10 Experiences that Shaped my Life:

  1. When I was six, I got lost for the first time. I think it was the first time I was really that terrified. I know it seems silly now, but back then, I thought I was going to die right there in the public library.
  2. Once, when my dad was driving me somewhere, I saw a homeless man. I had never seen someone in those conditions before. It had never even crossed my mind that there could be people in America who don’t have lives like mine.
  3. Coming to Lynbrook was actually a huge change for me. I went to the same private school and lived in the same house from preschool to eighth grade. I know it’s not super dramatic or special. but it is literally the only big change I have ever experienced.
  4. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had headaches from thinking too much or stressing out. When I was about eleven, I had this huge epiphany that I don’t have to just accept them and that I can actually do something to help myself. Even though I still get a lot of headaches now, I’ve learned how to calm myself down to stop them.
  5. On my thirteenth birthday, it hit me for the first time that I can’t stop growing. I guess a part of me just thought I was going to be a kid forever.
  6. For a while now, I’ve stopped blindly siding with the “good-guys” in movies. I think it’s really interesting to challenge their notions and try to see the situation from each angle–including the “bad-guys’.”
  7. Up until I was three, I had never ever experienced jealousy before, because instead, I would feel happy for whoever had what I didn’t. When my little brother was born and got all the attention from my parents, I felt jealous, and I learned that jealousy is an incredibly ugly feeling. To this day, I try to never feel jealous and just feel happy because I never want to feel that ugly feeling again.
  8. I visited a Catholic high school once to “shadow” a student. Everyone there was white, with light skin, light hair, light eyes. I stood out so much, and I felt the longing to fit in. This strange want to change myself was something I never thought I’d experience, but it taught me a lot.
  9. In sixth grade I started to think really philosophically and there was a point where I severely didn’t want the world to exist. Really, can you just imagine how great things would be if the entire universe didn’t exist?
  10. When I was really little I heard a quote by Carl Sagan about a picture taken by the Voyager, where the Earth is so far away, all it really looks like is “a pale blue dot.” And on this dot, “everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” I finally realized how small and meaningless I am in whole scheme of things.
Headaches may not seem like the most important experience in someone’s life, but for me, they were pretty important. I used to be plagued by these massive headaches non-stop and the worst part was, I never told anyone–not even my parents. It felt like someone was in my head, crawling around, banging my skull, and punching my brain. I just thought there was something wrong with me or that I was crazy. Sometime in middle school, I began to realize that I’d get these headaches because I’d overthink, overstress, and overanalyze everything and anything. Then at one point, I just decided I wanted to actually do something to stop these headaches, and I finally did. I learned how to step back from a situation, take a few breaths, and calm myself down. Though it doesn’t seem super dramatic or special, for me it was life-changing. I finally felt like I had control over my life.

I heard the quote written above by Carl Sagan when I was around four or five and I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t really take it to heart. I recently heard it again and actually let it sink in. Here I am, worried about what grade I’m going to get in my class, what college I’ll go to, what job I will get? But really, I’m so small, so incredibly miniscule that it shouldn’t matter. Not just me, but the entire existence of human civilization is so frivolous when compared to the existence of stars and galaxies. Every single thing we have ever experienced or done really makes no affect. All the horrendous atrocities and amazing feats of kindness are just so incredibly insignificant when you step back and realize that our world is just so freaking small!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: