There is an ancient Chinese proverb; “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” I used to wonder how about my journey. Between juggling responsibilities of helping out my night shift mom take care of the home: do the dishes, do laundry, vacuum the house, and help my sister on her homework while my father worked a 14 hour day, to homework, exams, and of course, the tedious extracurricular activities, I became exhausted. It’s around that time, the fall of 2010, I begin to “journey” to the gym to lose weight and look slim, and of course impress the ladies as any charming teenager does. I would drive there after school, 3 days a week, within the distance of one mile. However I had not been to the area as much, and I saw new things. Then I learned that a little down the road was a park which I vaguely recalled from a time in middle school. I drove down there and fell in love with the tranquility; however the best part of visiting Homestead Park came when I was extremely stressed out due to college overload, homework, tests, and life’s troubles falling onto me; it felt like a burden heavier than the weight of the heavens on the Titan Atlas.
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
Yet just putting that 98’ Maxima in park, and then staring into the horizon I fell into complete standstill. I put on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears, and just joined the scene. The large pond, in front of me, swayed with the serene waters dancing along crests as the wind gently pushed them along like a mother ushering a baby for its first steps. The trees whistled harmonies of leaves hugging each together as the sun’s natural beauty mirrored itself onto the water. That simple beauty reminded me of the places I would one day love to visit, Spain, Italy, Peru, and the rich natural areas of the United States; it made me think about the beauty that evolved over millions of years on this planet.
I decided to take a nice long walk for about four minutes to just ponder on my life. I thought about what I had in life to hold on: my friends, family, my home and a warm bed; then I thought about the accomplishments I had made and how far I had come. As I walked through the petals falling from the cherry trees, I thought about the girl I secretly loved, and how one day soon, I would win her heart. I thought about my family members, deceased and alive, and the difference they made to me. I thought about the friends who stick thick and thin with me: my first car accident, depression, or even advising me how to live life. And as I continued on that soft dirt path around the lake, wonderful memories from my earliest days to the present floated by, and I couldn’t help from smiling. Why? —I had an epiphany. I realized that no matter what happens in life, no matter where we, all of humanity, will go, and no matter how much frustration we endure, there always will be hope to continue our journey and face our challenges. It’s like Rocky Balboa words, “You, me or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain't about how hard you hit… It's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” And much like Robert Frost, the simple things, the smallest ray of hope, and the beauty of this park, “have made all the difference.”
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