Thursday, June 19, 2014

Some thoughts on my "road less traveled"

Earlier this year, I wrote an essay to explain why I am in college, pursuing my dream of a degree in philosophy. The essay I wrote explained a lot about my personal philosophy of a life redeemed.

This is how I see my "road less traveled."

Not many of us get second chances; I am one who has been gifted with a second chance at reaching for dreams I did not know I even had.

This is a tiny bit of "me" that I am sharing below; an edited version of my scholarship essay.

     In 2007 I was working a second-shift job on an assembly line.  I had the chance to try finishing my college education through tuition reimbursements. I found that I could take classes on-line. Once I started taking classes again, I began having successes. I found that I really was smart; this is what slowly unraveled the entrapping web of lies that had been told to me all my life.

     As Robert Frost wrote, I have decided to take this “path less traveled” and I have found that it is making “all the difference.”  I have reexamined what my definition is of success, and I am striving after something different. I am after a type of success that involves the satisfaction of developing my intellect and to concisely share my ideas; this is my new life’s adventure!

     I have discovered that so much of what people value are mere “things,” useless toys which rust and break; but developing real wisdom and creativity are things that can never be taken from you; things which I believe stay with you forever.

     I have lost much in this life, but the treasure of learning tempers the losses with a deep and abiding joy. I have friends who give me support, and I have the pleasure in learning and growing.  To be on this road “less traveled by” is making all the difference.

     This difference is with me every morning. No longer do I struggle to find reasons to get up, and out of bed; instead… 

  • I get up in the morning to the bright colors of the sunrise; knowing there are new academic challenges awaiting me.

  • I get up in the morning because of the adventure of a new day.

  • I get up in the morning because the air is fresh, and the mountains are waiting!

  • I get up in the morning because I live a beautiful and fulfilling life.

     I get up in the morning because I am finally free: free to make my own decisions, free to wear what I like, free to listen to the music that makes my spirit soar, free to color outside the lines; but most of all, I’m finally free to pursue the education possibilities I never had before.

     I have decided to explore this road less traveled, a life of fulfillment and yes, insecurity; but one that brings me great joy. I feel fully alive, living boldly the dream that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. Sometimes we need to leave behind the stories we were told by family, culture, and conditioning, and break down the mold of what it means to be a woman. Am I any less feminine because of my pursuit  advanced education? No, my gender is irrelevant to my goals, and my age is irrelevant as well; at least I think it should be.

     I feel that I have something valuable to contribute in this life. I believe that philosophy needs more women’s voices.  I believe that the great ancient philosophers have words that can still teach us today. That we can learn the value of virtue, to recall what Eudemonia means, and what human flourishing is all about.

     If we decide that there really is some magic limit to learning, that there is a time for us to stop trying, that one should just keep your head down and grind at the mill, and let go of your dreams: this is how we lose our humanity. There is something vital and strong about striving, about pushing your old limits, about not quitting, and stepping out fearlessly. You can dig deep within yourself to find those hidden resources of courage, bravery and the strength to grab that next handhold in this climb out of the valley of despair. 

Remember…The air is fresh and the mountains are waiting!

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