Onward and Upward
"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you."
- B.B. King
At five, I began to pat down the earth that would form the basis of my education. Incomprehensible squiggles became consonants and vowels, and isolated sounds came together to create meaning in the form of words, pages, chapters, volumes.
At ten, I donned the plaid skirt and starchy white blouse that would define my adolescence. A heavy laptop bag slung over my shoulder, I danced through the crowded halls arm in arm with the girls who helped me lay down my most formative layers.
At fifteen, I lifted my eyes toward the still-empty sky ahead of me and resolved to create for myself the highest peak possible. I worked tirelessly to add more and more onto my growing mound of experience and knowledge, refusing to stop even after the school day ended.
At eighteen, I took a leap of faith, fingers grasping at the air, hoping that the little mountain I had built was tall enough for me to reach one of the grand institutions floating above. My hand met the outstretched invitation of the University of Chicago, and I scrambled up, eager to add all it had to offer to my bit of earth and make it my own.
And now, at twenty-two, I stand upon the fruits of my labor. Not a precipice from which I could easily fall, but a platform that will forever be a place I know I will always have beneath me, ready for me to return to should I need to proceed in a different direction.