Senior Column: The landscape of life


Ollie Najar, Opinion Editor

One of my greatest fears is when I am old and almost done with life, to look back on the landscape of my life and see a barren dessert. It is dark but it is true. I do not fear death; I fear unfulfillment and apathy. If one does not make an impact on the world during their life, their significance is not recognized.

For the majority of my life I lived in fear. I was mortified of challenges, of failure and of embarrassing myself. Procrastination is a defense mechanism to fear, hesitating on your fears and accepting mediocrity to never shoot too high and miss, saving yourself the heartache of failure. Fear has destroyed far more dreams than failure ever could, however, insecurities take the best of me.

I do not remember when my mentality shifted. I think a small glimpse of confidence served as a spark to ignite a greater force, but I soon came to terms with my fears and reacted differently. It does not matter how many failures one has in life, simply how many triumphs they have. Life is not a dessert, nor is it an ever-rising mountain. Life should be a beautiful landscape with mountains and valleys, grass fields and crag, with boundless marks across the plane.

This narrative is neither a call to action, an informative essay, nor a persuasive piece. I want to express that I understand that I must never fear valleys, but look to the mountains with every passion I have, because I know that regardless of the results, with my ambitions, I will be able to turn around and see a gorgeous landscape to smile at before I die.

I have enough regret in my life- not of what I have done, but what I never had the courage to try. The uncertainty of what could have been leaves one feeling empty, with a sour taste in my mouth. Without effort, there are no lessons learned, no memories made, no failure or success, just a blank page. I am haunted by my past regrets: not putting more effort in school, not supporting my talent with the energy it deserves, not expressing myself earlier and acting on my dreams. Fortunately, I am still young, and I cannot fall to fear before I become too old to be able to act on them.

I want this as my final piece, so I can document that the starter pistol has fired, watch me not stop, and watch me make my mark.