Lauren Hoy

The Qualms of Losing Sight of the Stars

I remember being six years old and staring out into the dark abyss of a sky, only focusing on the brightest star until the water in my eyes collected from my unblinking expression. I was reluctant to look away, scared I may lose sight of it in the blink of an eye. I remember mouthing wishes silently as to not reveal them quite yet. This was a time of innocence. Where I stared at the world around me with precious naivety and let superstitions guide my choices. I did not let my head turn away from challenges or juxtapositions to my sheltered childhood.

As the Christmases and birthdays came and went, I began staring more into the abyss than the single star. Questions racked my head trying to find a constant to grasp onto ever since my eyes adjusted to the wider view. My mind began to run wild asking, “What we are compared to that abyss?” “How can we find our own unique purpose when all we are surrounded by is a never-ending void?” What constitutes value to us, what is our commonality as a human race? This is called maturity. It is when you lose focus on the forefront aspects of life. Similarly to when you first saw the big dipper illuminating the sky where you let the star bring light to the darkness around it and found true beauty in the normality of a background.

High school is similar to a basketball stadium when there is only one minute left on the clock.

I always took into consideration the adversaries in my life and how the girl before seems out of reach due to her inexperience. There are some days I’ll wish for the simplicity of childhood to resurface even if only for one day, but then I conclude I wouldn’t be me. My personality, ideals, and values would not have been born yet. As human beings, we need to experience turmoil. For there is a reason we cannot step back into the past.

Now that I am seventeen, reality has been dropped onto my head without warning. I am only guaranteed a year before I lose that high school fervor indefinitely. That is less than 365 days until I close that door for good and wistfully turn the door handle to adulthood. Dejectedly, however, I feel my hands are stuck on both door handles, a taut grip on both womanhood and girlhood. Throughout this state of vexation and internal chagrin, troubles have arisen pushing me closer and closer to the unchartered territory.

For instance, the taboo consequences of being a gifted child have worked and weaved their way around me. As a child, being told I carried talent through intelligence constructed a confidence around me I eventually learned to lean on for support. However, the gift began to define my existence. I reflected my self-worth on grades and scores in school. This in turn became a toxic expenditure when I made mistakes. I wasn’t myself anymore with these flaws. I would try to cover the cracks, to bury them deep underground to only be viewed as the consummate student I was groomed to metamorphose into. To me, high school is similar to a basketball stadium when there is only one minute left on the clock. It is constantly on a countdown. I needed to push all my labors from the past years into four years to make it worthwhile. My high school years became my dark ages as well as my enlightenment period. I went through a burn out stage and found it troubling I didn’t have an identity other than the gifted wonder. I took this time to find out what I wanted to give and receive in life, what I wanted to change, and supremely, who I wanted to be. Through arduous time, I found the answers to those questions and remodeled the reasons behind my success in school. Instead of only seeing grades as a payoff, I saw the knowledge as the ultimate prize to be won. Knowledge, in the end, is necessary to be who I want to be in that immeasurable abyss, how I am going to make this life count for something.

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