The author read his own Personal Statement.

Your browser does not support the audio element.

Read the rest of the issue:

Drowsy and sober leaned back in a chair in the middle of the night, watching three couples engage in the college version of a mating ritual. One couple is sitting on the couch to my left, talking about nothing in order to put a respectable amount of time in between meeting and making the “beast with two backs.” Another couple is up by the counter, which doubles as a bar for the night. The male is courting his female friend with the I-bet-you-can’t-drink-more-than-I-can game, which ultimately is supposed to make her more likely to shed her clothes. The girl that makes up one half of the final couple is the type that takes it upon herself to not seem like other girls, which leads her to think that talking about sports will make guys want to sleep with her. I had seen myself in some form of each situation before, and observing those three couples made me question, for the thousandth time that week, why we act the way we do.

I understand that I don’t really understand. It’s easy to act like making it to a certain age, attaining certain degrees or getting a highly thought of career will grant you access to the knowledge that will allow you to be content with yourself. Searching for an epiphany in a dimly lit Rick’s that will let you take your mind off of whatever it is you were raised to think your mind should be focused on. A few more shots of shitty tasting liquid should help but if you really want to test your tolerance for certain situations, throw your sober self at the nearest bar around 1:30 a.m. and observe what a sense of “community” has become. Not that I don’t partake in said activities on a weekly basis, but somewhere between a group of 10 good friends texting silently in a living room pregame and conversations starting only after your breath becomes flammable, I have to draw the line.

How many times has your pride stopped you from doing what you want because you didn’t want to feel weak or stupid? You had to maintain this image of yourself that you thought other people would be willing to accept because ultimately, what’s worse in life than being alone and feeling like you don’t belong? You could have every treasure the world can offer but if you could only use those treasures for yourself, what worth would they truly have? The bottom line is that everyone wants to be loved in some way. This might sound lazy, but let’s get comfortable with the idea of being kind to everyone — become accepting of our situations and sympathetic to those who don’t know any better, ourselves included. We need to base the decisions we make on how thoughts of such things resonate with our spirits and not off of the judgment of people who in most cases don’t give a fuck anyway.

Let’s come to an understanding that we are all connected, and despite what we are taught, we don’t have to see everyone as competition or a threat to what we consider success; as if a degree and a job that a majority of people see as important is what truly makes someone “valuable” as a human being. Less competition and more compassion; less judgment and more understanding. Maybe we should sacrifice the popularity contest in order to gain inner peace, or possibly discover that both can be attained if you have your thoughts and beliefs at a certain frequency. I’m not here to tell you what is best or what you should do; do what feels right to you and understand that not knowing and not being sure is the way it is and will be for everyone. Our journeys are different so don’t base yours off of comparisons to others. Begin to enjoy everything that happens to you. Will old age consume your imagination before you realize that you should have acted upon the thoughts and feelings that we toss to the shadows for fear that we may not be capable or that others might not accept us?

Realize that, although we may seem separate, all of us are merely one. There is no individual, just one whole connected through spirit and a universal consciousness. And please don’t allow ego and pride to get in the way of your bonds with others. Is there anything sadder than words left unsaid? Thoughts that you were dying to share with someone but didn’t because you were stopped by being self-conscious. Let go of the idea of embarrassment and do what feels right to you. Care for others because they are a part of you, but don’t allow fear of what they might think stop you. Time is an illusion; so don’t let it affect your decisions. The act of not doubting is strength. Believe in yourself and you will accomplish anything. And when you have become the person you had dreamed of becoming, remember this: no matter how many “great” things you accomplish in your life, you are no better than a person who has done what society would consider “nothing.”

People are people. Explore the world and I’m sure you’ll find that whether you are in the largest cities or the most remote villages untouched by “civilization,” everyone likes to laugh, eat and fuck. They get jealous and they feel happy. They want to be accepted and they want to feel loved. They know things but they also know nothing. They are different but they aren’t different. Go anywhere and talk to anyone for long enough and you’ll realize that on some level, everyone can understand everyone else. Give it time and you’ll start to see yourself in every person you meet, that’s because — whether you know it or not — you are every person you meet.

The author read his own poem.

Your browser does not support the audio element.

To think that I
A hollow tree
Could fill myself
With others lives
Would be to say
My destiny
Is bound to those
Who dwell inside

To say that I
A drop of rain
Could foster life
In living beings
Would be to say
A single bead
Can do things
Greater than the seas

To know that I
A grain of sand
Floating in space
Cannot be seen
Would be to say
I understand
I can’t do anything

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.