The following was inspired after having spent much time ruminating over the implications of the poem I studied for my presentation- “Wean Yourself” by Rumi. The idea of every individual’s set of experiences leading to a different interpretation of the world meant, to me, that it was necessary to experience as much as possible. Don’t restrict your paradigm. Rather, fall in love with the possibilities.
The way the world is seen is a result of what’s done within it.
No representation of the world is universal, as the track everyone travels through it on changes what they see.
Keeping that in mind, one has no reason to stick solely on one track through all of their life.
Why, then, are we so one track minded? Ambition is admirable, sure, but never put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t let your ambition fall short once it reaches its goals.
What we need is hungry ambition – ambition that won’t be sated no matter how much we achieve.
In my efforts to be a well-rounded students, I’d already taken my first steps. My hunger was leading me from one place of success to the next: as an academic, as an athlete, and as an actor. Having gotten accepted into the program I wanted, I could easily have stopped putting effort in – but I wanted to succeed more. Having played at the volleyball all-star game, it would’ve been more convenient to not do any more extra-curriculars, but I wanted to represent the school more.. Having been in the drama program all four years I could have said that enough showed my love for the art, but I wanted to invest more into it through one act.
Experiencing new lives is something to embrace – do what you usually don’t, and you will see things you wouldn’t otherwise see.
I can remember the afternoon after my presentation. I walked through the streets of downtown in shoes that weren’t entirely my own. I did things I never would have normally. I went to a comic book store, and was intrigued not only by all the stories. Not only those written in the words of the books, but the unwritten, ineffable, stories of the people within the store. They were all part of a brilliant and intricate culture I’d never yet experienced. I watched faces light up as they found just the edition they were looking for. Expressions that I could only make while playing sports or acting. What a beautiful thing it would be to have more paths to joy like that.
And take note of how the things you see change you.
I could never see myself doing One Act until this year, as it had no relevance to the program I was entering in university. Regardless, I did it, and now it’s one experience I don’t think I can forget. The universal appeal of art, in particular, theatre, is emblazoned within the recesses of my appreciations. Within every interaction I have, I look for beautiful moments, like the ones we would discuss in our post-show talks.
This year taught me not to be ambitious only about my goals, but ambitious about everything. It’s important to be equally invested in every opportunity that makes itself present – not just the ones that will get you to where you want to be. Because after all, you might stumble upon something that will change your mind.
Fall in love with the possibilities.