Growing up the youngest of three, I was never the one to bear much attention. My parents were always there, but not there simultaneously. Thus, I had to raise myself in many regards. This resulted in the development of my own concept of “ideal.” I obtained an unconventional form of motivation; self-motivation. This motivation derived from desiring to prove people wrong – to not become another black statistic, desiring to be as fierce with my brain, as Ali was with his gloves, not only desiring to think outside of the box, but to create my own. It was not until I conjured up these “ideals,” that I began to visualize the path needed in order to achieve these fantastical paradigms.
The path was not and has not and for a while will continue to not be a journey which I would define as “ideal,” but it is necessary nevertheless. This ostensibly eternal voyage of life has introduced to me many hardships which have miraculously made way for several qualities.
Growing up, I had horrendous eye sight, eye sight I would not even wish upon my most ruinous foes. Vision I would have to deal with for nearly the first sixteen years of my life. Aside from this, I also possessed a chip on my front right tooth that shined brighter than the stars on a warm July night at the countryside, every time I dared to open my mouth. As one could imagine, I was never the most confident of children, being deathly afraid of eye contact and even more distraught from the mere thought of opening my mouth in front of anyone, let alone speaking in front of a group of them. Over time, however, a unique set of circumstances led my family to Church, and this is where my journey of becoming the man in which I have always desired to be began.
It was amidst this path that I was first introduced to the possibility of speaking in front of a crowd. The thought was frightening to say the least; envisioning the judgmental, condemnatory, lifeless eyes of a variety of spectators – each with a distinct motive of ostensibly bash intent and undisclosed repression. This self-inundation was inarguably ingrained a great depth within my musculature – with no sign of forthcoming, nor of help. Nevertheless, an iniquitous, mysterious vigor which rested deep within my being prevented me from turning down the opportunity – a sign of change, a hope for betterment. Then it happened. The confidence of body and mind, the fluidity of speech and vernacular, the support from family and friends, the immaculate joy of finally embarking upon an activity in which I can declare passion and desire for, was fortuitously upon me; in this moment, I was finally able to epitomize my concept of ideal – even if in the most broadest of understandings, this understanding set a precedent for my future path, my vision throughout life.
After that moment, the growing up phase was a blur. My natural gift in public speaking and impromptu speech led to success on impromptu (standardized) testing, which led to a gift in impromptu writing. Currently, I have become quite the renowned writer – earning the titles of Editor-In-Chief of my schools publication, President of the National English Honor Society Chapter and even earning college credit on the strenuous Advanced Placement exams; and I plan to continue in steadfastness and possess the same, if not an increased level zeal throughout life. This is my passion; speaking, writing, researching, learning. All of these things have opened up many doors for me over the years and I predict that this trend will continue overtime. It all started with me being scared, however, being scared just means you’re about to take a risk. If you’re living and you’re not taking risks, then what are you doing?