It was eleven o’clock.
My tea was freshly brewed: green – with honey. Warmth.
I was to bare my soul once more.
A flourish of prose, my credit card number – some sort of existential self-actualization that says unabashedly:
Look into these lines and see that I exist.
Glance at the heart which I present to you,
And see that I am human – that I bleed.
See that I am one.
See that I am not afraid.
Look into these lines and tell me,
Do you like what you see?
And with every returning embrace, the radiant life in my mug became more dull, lifeless; spoiled and metallic tasting like chewing on pennies.
This was the sixth time this week.
Two supplemental essays, six short answer prompts – sometimes there was nothing additional at all – just a bold sheet of demographic information and few marks on a page.
That’s how they decide presumably. That’s all it takes.
And as that crisp white page sat before me on my screen all neatly filled out and thoughtfully assembled, I became translucent – ignorant and blindly willing to expose myself.
My best self.
Some of them never have met me. Some of them never will. In many cases, this is the first and last time they may ever read my name – and this is the last and only time they should care what I have to say.
Of course, this is not an exclusive burden. This weight rests individually on the shoulders of every senior in this school.
Everyone must feel that hot breath on their neck.
That is the price to get this far.
We must take that leap.
We must dive so far and so deep that with every stroke we become more afraid that our eyes will burst under the pressure.
We must hold our breath.
We must hold it longer as we walk onto the great stage – seeing where we are, where we’re going, how far we have come – knowing everlong that the fresh air on the other side will taste so much more sweet after the pain of deprivation.
And we must come out the other side to fill our lungs.
Finally, something has changed.
These are the days that must happen to you. To us.
For we are the creators.
We are the artists, the sculptures, the writers, the architects of our future; of our story.
The life which we have chosen is for the dreamers.
For those that believe that we have an apparent duty to ourselves and to each other to live life unapologetically.
To love without second thought,
To wear our hearts on our sleeves and bear them to anyone willing to give us the chance,
To wear sweatpants and to eat with our hands and to never say sorry if we aren’t:
This life is for the trailblazers.
For those who wish to change the world.
The life which we have chosen is for us, as we are human, and bleed when we are cut – and we are resilient so that when we are cut, we may heal.
So I closed my laptop.
I went to sleep, and I slept soundly with the knowledge that I may wake up tomorrow and try again.