the art of ascension

Jahshana Olivierre - Senegal


July 19, 2013

A face among many undistinguished faces, a lost soul among many lost souls: who was I? What did others’ perception of me mean to me? What was my identity? These questions were the stepping stones to a new quest – a quest of self-discovery. I felt trapped – trapped in a box, a dark melancholic box. I feel like I am only exposed  to and influenced by one opinion and one perspective, I feel as if there are brick walls surrounding me and suppressing my evolving process. My voice is strained from the endless singing of redemption songs – songs of hope that have now become drowned out by a troubling realityI began to grow weary of these helpless cries for hope .. for a way out. I refused to be a helpless victim of circumstance and knew that change needed to be brought about. The Global Citizen Year program is like the cranny of light in my suppressive box.

The pressure of toxicity and conformity from my environment is slowly polluting and taking over my thoughts – my actions. Day to day, I sit down and try to analyze life, then draw theories from my analysis that I should apply to my life, but to no avail; I fail in applying the aspect. Why do I allow trivialities to define my existence and life purpose? It feels like an out-of-body experience, my entity has mutated into a duality- the YIN and the YANG. The “YANG” side of me yearns to seek out, to ascend, to live selflessly, to fulfill my life purpose, to “practice what I preach,” whilst the “YIN” gets drawn to the negativity magnet of the universe and focuses heavily on feeding my ego, consumerism and societal requirements like how I’ll never be “good” or “acceptable” enough. I get drawn to the burdens of society and allow my idealism to take me far away, but then I recede. I begin to feel hopeless – for my community, race, the world, and myself. My “YIN” has now overpowered my “YANG” and I begin to drown in negativity. I am so blinded that I fail to be grateful, grateful for my existence, potential, the BEAUTIFUL people around me, and the BEAUTIFUL WORLD I live in that has so much to offer humanity.

I realize that every single day I have an opportunity to LIVE, and I do not mean that lightly. Live as in explore every nook and cranny of my universe – every medium, every book, live as in actually LOVING all of the beautiful attributes of humanity, live as in shunning the mainstream media that gives the world that we live in a tunnel vision perspective, and molding my identity to MY WILL AND DESIRE, live as in being a service to other people, live as in TO EVOLVE. If I have come to this realization why can’t I apply it? I believe it’s because I haven’t truly experienced what it means to be out of my comfort zone. One lesson I am beginning to learn by observation is that Life BEGINS when you have exited your comfort zone, hence the reason why I have decided to take a gap year abroad. If I am abroad  – away from my environment, family and friends, I will be exposed to a foreign realm – a non-fictional realm. It’ll allow me to break free from my stagnation and help me be GRATEFUL and appreciative of the world around me. My goal is to break free from stagnation, my comfort zone, and EXPERIENCE what life really means by skipping to the beat of MY OWN drum.

Success can mean a lot of things but for right now it simply means maintaining one’s ascension, yours and those around you. They say seven times rise and seven times fall but I believe getting up the eighth time is what the human experience is all about.

Jahshana Olivierre