Happy New Year everyone! 2016 has come, January has come…how exciting 🙂
I stayed up quite late last night (or early this morning), but my sleep rhythm woke me up at about 9 am. So, I got up, read Scroll IV for the first time…and then decided to go back to bed. The new scroll is pretty cool!
Well, I had a dream. It’s not really about Scroll IV; but it had some cool insights and so I figured I’d share it.
I was reading a new blog that had popped up in my email. This person detailed in his blog (and then I experienced what he was writing about) his first experience reading Scroll IV. He was sitting at the beach, he took out Og, flipped to Scroll IV, and began to read out loud. (I don’t know why this person was reading out loud in the morning!) He stumbled over the part about being “nature’s greatest miracle”. (It was at this point that I started experiencing the setting this person was writing about, so the narration will now be from my perspective.) Suddenly, a breeze whipped The Greatest Salesman into the ocean. I grabbed my second copy of The Greatest Salesman from my backpack and looked at Scroll IV again. “Well,” I thought, “if I’m nature’s greatest miracle and all that, I should really go get back my book.” So I plunged into the ocean after the book. Somehow, even though I couldn’t see it, I knew where the book was. I swam out a little farther, feeling the waves fighting against me. After a little while though, I realised that the waves had reversed their direction – instead of flowing back to shore, they were flowing out to sea. I could feel the potential of having the waves push me under, but then I decided to swim with them and let them help me and carry me to where I wanted to go.
I don’t remember the end of the dream, or if I ever finished reading this person’s blog post. But I do remember realising in the dream that in life, we’re all surrounded by various waves, pressures, etc. These pressures can pull us down, roll us over, tumble us and scrape us into the sand if we let them…or, we can embrace them and see them as things that will help us get to our goal. I think it was in Emerson’s essay on Compensation that I saw this phrase: “We gain the strength of the temptations we resist.” And of course we all know the saying of “Everything happens for a reason”. I can’t quite yet translate whatever my subconscious was thinking in that dream into words…but I think it’s cool! 🙂
To go along with this dream of mine…
I’ve been applying for scholarships for a little over half a year now. Some scholarships are lotteries, some are poetry contests, but most require an essay submission. I love the first two, but for years I “struggled to write decent essays”. I’m using quotation marks because that’s what I’ve been telling myself…and I realised that it’s actually not entirely true. I know how to write an outline, and an essay – it’s simply that I had a bad experience writing essays one year and grew to hate writing. And of course, if you don’t like something, it’s harder for you to improve at it. It also did not help that I struggled for over a year to write a 2-page essay in 25 minutes for the SAT. (I did overcome this three days before the SAT this year, and ended up with a perfect score on the writing section 🙂 ) So I haven’t had a great attitude toward essays. Well. Now I have to write essays for scholarships. Yuck/ew/noooo, right? Right. I HATED scholarship applications. Hated them wholeheartedly. Never mind that I could get lots of money for pursuing my music degree…my attitude was “I don’t like essays, I’m horrible at essays, so why bother – I won’t win, it’s no fun, it’s a waste of time…UGHHHH I hate scholarships!” (You’re probably wondering WHY on earth, with this attitude, I continued applying. The answer: my mother. She didn’t know these thoughts of mine; all she knows is that for some reason I’ve been strangely resistant to trying to get “free” money…) Of course, all of us MKMMA students know that this is an attitude for failure.
Ok, that’s the back story. Last week I sent my mom (who is an EXCELLENT writer!) an essay that I had written for a scholarship. She just had a small, easily fixed problem with one paragraph. I fixed it and she was happy.
Two days ago I sent her a couple of essays for a music scholarship application. She only pointed out a typo, but she was in the middle of something then, so I expected that she would have more critiques later on. Yesterday she asked if I had sent in the application. I said, “No, I’m waiting on your feedback.”
“I gave you my feedback,” she replied.
I was incredulous. “You mean the typo? That was it?”
“Yes,” she said. My brain: WOW…cool!…Well…they were short little essays, just 200 words or less, so that’s probably why.
Yesterday, I sent her a 2 1/2 page essay for another scholarship. She read it, gave me some advice about the formatting, and began to move on to something else.
“So that’s it?” I asked.
“Mhm,” she replied. “Have you read it aloud?”
“No, not yet,” I said. “The formatting was the only thing?” I asked again.
“Yeah,” she said, looking at me with a why do you keep asking about this expression.
My brain: NO freaking way! I wrote a TWO AND A HALF PAGE ESSAY in 3 drafts and my mom the amazing writer has NO critiques other than FORMATTING? No way!
What I actually said: “So I’m getting better!?”
Understandably, I got a look from my mom as if I had just grown a second head. “You didn’t think that would happen?” she teased me.
“Well…you know I’ve had a hard time with essays.”
She then pulled up this graphic for me.
Scholarship applications are still not my favourite…service (I was going to say chore but I’ll be good haha). Nor can I promise that I’ll be any more enthusiastic about them. BUT. I’ve realised that even if I don’t win any scholarships, they’re not a waste of time. I get to strengthen a former weakness. I get consistent writing practice…so, when I go off to college, I’ll be able to write multiple-paged essays fairly confidently.
How does this tie in with my dream? There are things in our lives that we may not want…pressures that we feel we can’t resist…that can make life a little harder, a little less pleasant…but we can either let them drag us down into hate and dislike and fear – OR – we can look to the lessons we can learn and let them give us strength to swim to our dreams (or soar to new heights, or whatever image impacts you the most).