Life’s Cadenza

Barker Carlock - Senegal

July 27, 2012

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It’s difficult for me to relay in only a few words who I am and why I do the things that I do. Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, “the struggle of maturity is to recover the seriousness of a child at play.” That’s exactly what I plan to do in the next coming months. Forgetting all of the expectations and stresses of our current education model, I am breaking the chains and reinventing my child-like spirit through Global Citizen Year. Not child-like in the traditional sense, I am returning to my curious and adventurous spirit that I have too often lost touch with over the years.

I’ve taken a lot of things for granted: my access to education, my loving family, my friends, and even my own talents. Concerned more about impressing others and fitting a mold of success, I forgot the truly important things in life. Rigid with my own life plan and rushed into thinking that college was the immediate step after high school, I thought that I was ready. However, upon deeper self-examination, I realized my original intentions toward academia were misplaced. I still have a lot to learn about who I am. I’m not taking this gap year seeking the approval of others or trying to distinguish myself in a résumé but rather to further develop, broaden perspective, and see the world outside of myself.

Like a musician performing a musical piece lacking emotion in the notes and only striving for perfection, I have become detached from my work. I have lacked the emotional connection between who I am and what I do.  This next year in my life, however, will be like a cadenza to express myself and really bridge the gap between who I am and why I do what I do.

Barker Carlock