Be Somebody | Teen Ink

Be Somebody

February 28, 2012
By AubreyJordan PLATINUM, Flagstaff, Arizona
AubreyJordan PLATINUM, Flagstaff, Arizona
25 articles 0 photos 39 comments

There is a densely-packed, vastly-stretching, hopelessly writhing mass of human beings. It is strong. It is all-encompassing. It is everything and everyone. We cannot escape it and we cannot exist outside of it.

Presently, I am on the bottom of the pile. But I am still young! There is hope for someone like me. I can kick and scratch and struggle. I can push my way to the top. I wake up each morning, take each breath, make each step, knowing that this must be done. For, the mass surrounds me, and I can see no way out, because there is no way out. I must fight.

Although our every action is an attempt to launch ourselves ahead of those surrounding us, our intent for success must remain secret. When life is a constant struggle, and every waking moment a battle for dominance, raw ambition must remain hidden from view. Regardless, every action is taken because of it. We constantly feel the pressure of our surrounders pushing up, groping for a better something—and we must do it too. Our eyes dart from figure to figure wildly; we look to see how quickly we are rising, we look to see if we can measure up. And our surrounders continue to claw their way higher. So we must do it too, because we not only want, but need that inevitable improvement. We must do it because we must get away from where we are. We must because there is a better place, a better life, and it is just out of our reach. If we only keep pulling ourselves along, despite the pain and heartache, we will get there. We will get to better.

We will drive interminably for it, with covert determination and fierce desire. We will long to remove ourselves from the nameless, faceless individuals among us and become somebody. We will make something of ourselves. We will get more. We will get better. We will be somebody if we never stop the fight.

There will come a time, after years of assiduous struggling, that we find there nothing above us. There is nothing above us—and yet, everyone around us continues to reach tirelessly upward. This is because the densely-packed, vastly-stretching, hopelessly writhing mass of human beings is no pile at all; but a contained thing, that has neither top nor bottom.

If we always base our definition of success on our surroundings, we will never find happiness. If we make every moment a competition, it will always be one. However, when we find joy and worth in the things we do, the struggle ceases, and life begins. Our world may be one of “up” and “down,” but when you realize that you ARE somebody, you can begin to see that there is such a thing as left and right.

The author's comments:
I wrote this at around midnight after studying for the SAT for about three hours. I, like almost every aspiring high-schooler, find it extremely uncomfortable and deeply frustrating that, to collages, I am essentially a number. I'm not proud of saying this, but sometimes the successes of my peers scare me. It's easy to get tired to comparing yourself to other people all the time. The best way to get past the inescapable competition of applying for collages (or living life) is to stop looking at other people, and start looking at yourself to find out who you really are, or who you want to be.

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