I am a mosaic


Photo taken by Carrie Olsen and provided by Mariam Hanna.

Mariam Hanna, Editor-in-Chief

I had expectations.

Expectations that I would know exactly what I want and how to get there. Expectations that I would be an entirely new person with a more certain outlook on the world. Expectations that though I would have contemporary experiences and perspectives, I would hold the same mindset. The mindset that who I am is unrelated to those around me. Uninfluenced by my peers. Undetermined by my family. 

When I first walked the halls of Rochester High School in the fall of 2017, I thought I was me and nobody else, and that I would become ‘just me’ even more in the next few years.

I could not have been more wrong. 

Now that the day I have been counting down to, dreaming of, longing for for what seems like forever is nearing, I recognize that certainty is a fantasy. That nobody ever stops experiencing new perspectives. Most importantly, that individuality is not as individual as its name suggests.

I am ambitious. I am compassionate. I am eager. I am joyful. I am my original, unique self. But I am also every soul that has touched mine, every smile I have encountered, and every heart that has carried me.

My mom held my hand through every sick night, pulled me close in moments of despair, and fueled my laughter and joy. I am her unconditional love. My dad taught me that no dream is too big, no star is too far, and no desire cannot be fulfilled. I am his determination. My sister, Marci, has immense love for every single person in her life. She drives to make their worlds better. I am her warmth. My aunt spent day and night working to be the best educator and supporter for her students, fighting each battle. I am her passion. My cousin, Dominic, questions everything that surrounds him and has a burning desire to better understand the workings of this crazy world. I am his curiosity. His brother Dylan is only four and already knows what he wants. He knows this life is too short to waste it not enjoying every moment. I am his will. 

I am the way the sun hugs the Earth in the summer, the way the snow kisses it in the winter, the way good music makes our entire bodies move, the way a new adventure sends adrenaline down our spines, they way ocean waves make our blood tingle, and the way a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on provide utmost comfort. 

I am a mosaic. A mosaic of every spirit that has encountered mine, every sensation my body has felt, and every person I have experienced. I am not just me; I am them.