Who Am I? I Sure Wish I Knew | Teen Ink

Who Am I? I Sure Wish I Knew

May 28, 2014
By CruxClaire GOLD, Park Ridge, Illinois
CruxClaire GOLD, Park Ridge, Illinois
11 articles 1 photo 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."
-Mark Twain

Staring dejectedly at the still-empty text box before me, I shake my head in frustration. Yet another “About Me” section to fill out – yet another surge of uncertainty. What can I write that will make me sound confident, but not pretentious? Will people think I have self-esteem problems if I utilize self-deprecating humor? Will others really care that I enjoy long conversations, Charlotte Brontë novels, and well-steeped green tea?

Describing oneself to others is a tricky art; however, over time, I have come to realize its necessity to success. Success – that Holy Grail that transcends an exact, concrete image and definition. I must accurately portray myself – though in the best possible light – in order to be successful. And there, I believe, lies the key: Success. The motif of society, of the ultimate American Dream! In order to become successful, one must have a personal definition of success to strive towards. Therefore, the key to a well-executed self-description (given that the purpose of self-description is to encourage success) lies in one’s own view of success.

As a child, I revised my career plans often. Old crayon drawings on yellowing paper from my preschool years remind me that I once intended to become the President of the United States. Journal entries from the following years reflect my aspirations to be an astronaut, dolphin trainer, teacher, children’s fiction writer, actress, marine biologist, lawyer, and nun. I more or less intended to become my Barbie doll, whose career changed with her outfit. Despite all these erratic life-path changes, however, the core of my personality never seemed to change. Veterinarian Barbie and Policewoman Barbie are still both Barbie; likewise, President Claire was essentially the same as Dolphin Trainer Claire. In other words, my idea of success lay somewhere beyond career choice, or even wealth.

What, then, did I really want out of life? Which values built the foundation of my character? The factor uniting all my different career aspirations is the happiness that they seemed to offer me at one time or another. I want to be happy. I always viewed my future as something I could mold in my hands and in my mind – something that could bring me satisfaction if I could determine goals and work tirelessly towards them. No matter which career I would end up choosing for myself out of that overwhelming array of possibilities, I would embrace it with spirit and endeavor ceaselessly to master it in every aspect. I would earn the respect of my family and colleagues, and – perhaps even more importantly – of myself. My greatest idea of success was, and is, to leave a mark or memory of myself on the world that I can unequivocally be proud of. If I were to appear in a history book, I would want to root for myself the way I rooted for the Philosophes of the Enlightenment, or admire myself the way I admired Queen Elizabeth I or Frederick the Great of Prussia. Though I feel almost infinitely tiny when I juxtapose my transient mind and body with the expanse of the universe, I will never surrender in my fight to leave a positive impact on the world, because that is what will be my ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment.

So, then, there you have it: the word-portrait of Claire, an auburn-haired eighteen-year-old of above-average height - a student and learner who loves the German language and culture, the writings of Voltaire, the occasional brooding session, and The Smiths – a person who will never, ever give up in her quest to leave a positive mark on the world.

The author's comments:
This was a personal statement essay for Georgetown for the Class of 2017. I generally fail at describing myself to others in a coherent way (it's like a written selfie taken in a cracked mirror under flourescent light), especially strangers, i.e. a college admissions commitee, so this was one of my most challenging essays to write.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jun. 7 2014 at 11:47 am
carmennoelle BRONZE, Rp, California
1 article 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"The best way out is always through"- Robert Frost

So incredibily hard to write about self, but i admire this. The barbie metapbor especially.