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Open Doors

December 29th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
   They say one doesn’t realize what he has until it’s gone.  When I broke my wrist two years ago, I not only realized that I had almost lost my hand completely, I realized how little I’d done, how much more I wanted to do, how close I came to losing the opportunity altogether.  As I spent the following summer bound to my chair with the injury, I taught myself web design and learned to program in six different languages.  The following year, as my friends and I began making videos but could find no outlet for our new hobby, we founded our own club, within months finishing three movies, hosting monthly Theater Days, and starting a VHS-DVD conversion service.  When I later reflected upon the events, after having made twelve websites for schools and organizations, after having had classmates join my club and become paid to teach our video editing to an afterschool class, I realized that opportunities are not sought but created, that it is not the opportunity that is set but the goal.

   However, setting goals alone is not enough; they must also be pursued.  Goals are open doors to those who pursue them, but they become only windows to those who don’t.  Last year, eight members of my club entered the SPARC video competition, disheartened after having lost two previous contests.  Yet, their losses only motivated them further, and after devoting days to their entries, each won more than a thousand dollars in scholarships.  This year, my father demanded I not waste time with the school debate team, that I would never stand a chance.  Yet, my debate partner and I persisted, ignoring those who tried to dissuade us, and after training for weeks, we won undefeated at our first tournament.  Now I venture to play and make music; friends and family tell me to reconsider, that it takes years to learn.  Yet, already I’ve created seven songs and plan to make many more.  I could have simply ignored these ideas, could have simply left them lingering in the back of my mind.  Yet, then I would always be on outside looking in, wondering what possibilities could have occurred.

   People often tell me to watch for opportunities, to “wait and see.”  From my experiences however, opportunities are only labels to describe the choices one makes, the chances one decides to take.  From my experiences, one is only limited by what he thinks he can do, that if he so chooses, he can open the world to himself and to those around him.
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