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Who am I and what is my dream? Is the person that is waking up every morning and living the daily common life really me? Am I working towards something meaningful or am I just living according to the expectations of the people around me? To the world, I am known as Bella, a nineteen-year-old girl attending her freshmen year in college. Do I have a dream? Honestly, I am not sure. But am I headed towards success? The answer is, most probably not. But that doesn’t mean that I am useless or have little to no significance as an individual and in society. I try to live in such a way through which I can bring comfort to my loved ones and myself. Because what I have learned in the past is that, it is impossible to please everybody and act like someone I am not. I did not have the qualifications of a puppet, but sadly, that’s who I was becoming. I was drowning in a lake of unfamiliarity and was slowly beginning to wear a mask. I was constantly trapped in the dreams and fantasies of others. But there came a time when I finally escaped from that perplexed universe of who I was not.
I learned many life lessons during my stay in South Africa. One of the incidents that greatly affected me and helped me take a step closer to recognizing my self occurred when I was 17. Betrayal. The word I most feared turned into a reality. As I watched Joanna turn around against me, the lump in my throat tightened. I didn’t have a voice. No, I buried it for her. But what was the point? Was our friendship ever real? I felt so hurt that day. Maybe, just maybe, if it was someone other than Joanna, I wouldn’t have felt like hiding myself in the corner. Boarding school was fun, but there were many hardships that came along the way; one of them was being accused of something you didn’t do. Joanna was a victim of the many accusations. And for her, I was the only one who believed what she had to say. I stayed with her through the long journey of struggles. And I definitely did not expect her to accuse me of something I didn’t do, especially being connected to the unfortunate passing of a student. We were the best of friends anyone could ever imagine having. But that was my mistake. I became friends with her and trusted her more than myself. I did all I could for her. I thought that’s what it takes to be happy. I thought I was happy when I stopped thinking of my dream and started to pursue hers so she wouldn’t have to walk alone. I thought I was being myself with her, not realizing that I was hiding behind a mask and dumped myself in a cold lake of lies.
Every morning I would wake up and question myself, “Who is this soul that is residing in this body and what is her goal?" Life was a repetition of copying and pasting. Throughout my life, I am not even sure if I tried searching for the real me, my true self. The outer image that I have created for myself has been the best way I could advertise my character for others. But I do know that I tried to untie myself from the chains that held me down from revealing myself. I haven’t grow completely as yet, but surely I am not underground anymore. My encounter with Joanna was just a glance into a dark tunnel of my life which led me to a bright light. A little pain to take a step closer to self-recognition is no harm I guess. And if that was the beginning of my journey towards a dream I had once lost, then to everyone out there who is struggling as I had, it is time to step out of the net which has you entangled and start looking for yourself.
To dream is to live and to dream freely is to live freely. Unlike Joanna, I believe that sometimes it is better to fly solo. Even without a complete dream, we can soar through the skies of life and come across different venues which may contain something special for us. Joanna’s dream was to have someone who would give up his own dream for her, but I made a mistake and fell into her trap. I must have had a dream but lost it during the time I had a friendship with her. Along with my faded dream, my true self was vanishing as well. But sometimes we need to lose something small to gain something bigger. And it is okay to walk alone, because someone, somewhere, is fighting a very similar battle to ours. And that’s how, my friend, we never walk alone. Now I am a free soul, flying solo, sometimes in flocks, but towards my destination.
Original Picture by JIMIN of BTS