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I have lived most of my life, thus far, with unrealistic dreams and have strived to attain unachievable goals. I believed that those achievements would be essential in assisting me on the road to happiness and fulfillment. What I neglected to realize was that no goals could be achieved without motivation or sense of direction. I've learned that direction isn't as simple as knowing where one is going, it is equally important to know how to get there. And every person has his or her own direction and destination.

I have always felt that I have been extremely gifted, because anything I do, I do rather well. This gift, though very much a blessing, has also been a bit of burden. As I became older, I began to notice an increased disinterest and procrastination in schoolwork, until I finally ceased to do any work at all. I did not intend on going to college, so getting through high school was my only concern., My mentality was that if I was able to do better than the average student without putting forth any effort why then, should I 90 the extra distance to accomplish anything more?

During the summer of my 9' grade year, my father moved to Florida. With him went my brother, sister, stepmother and the environment I had become familiar with since I was very young. I moved in with my mother, which would have a definite impact on me. She was more liberal than my father. This was extremely difficult for me, because I had little structure. without the extra push I had nothing to help me move forward academically and began slipping into my own fantasy world I always had an interest in music and had long before flirted with the idea of being a "rock star" My Freshman yew was spent thinking more of my dream of being a musician, yet doing less to accomplish them, I began to find myself too caught up observing human behavior to apply myself in anything else. Though my schoolwork did not decline drastically, my respect for my peers did. I saw them as animalistic, concerned only with basic gratification This was because the only talk I heard from kids at school was of parties and sex. To me, they were ungrateful, and their actions were disrespectful and disgusting. These combined thoughts put a warped image of sexuality in my mind, and I made it known that sex was my personal enemy. I became a self-proclaimed outcast. I alienated myself from the kids at school. I looked toward revenge at the world. I had learned about the jazz age, and the hippie movement. and I had seen that one thing that both had in common was a rebellious nature. These periods in history were inspirational to me. They were times in which ideas were abundant and everybody seemed to be doing something new and interesting. In an attempt to pull myself away from focusing on others, the idea of being a "rock star" came back into affect This did anything but pull me away, though.

The image I was interested in was a form of revenge at the kids at school and the world. It was an image that I tried hard to emulate. So, I took the only appropriate actions that I knew of; I grew my hair long and began blaming the world for my problems. I began hanging out at a local coffee shop. Everybody there was older than me and had already established their grievances with the world. They made me feel like I wasn't alone. We spent our time talking about a revolution in art, literature and music, a complete alteration of the consciousness of the American public and the world.

We set out to submerge into a vast sea of ideas, all the time without even. leaving my basement Without any money, we stopped hanging out at the coffee shop. Since my house had no restrictions my house started out as the meeting place and hangout for a bunch of young creators. It ended up becoming a place for vagabonds to become inebriated and pow out on my coffee table. I did not agree with their actions and our relationship dwindled I became more introverted as they continued in an endless cycle of drugs and alcohol. I took time to contemplate, and I realized that I needed a change.

Three days into my sophomore year, I transferred schools. .1 became more interested jazz and classical music. These two musical forms started to have great affects on my mentality. I began meeting new people who shared similar interests. They were more interested in utilizing that which was made available to them, though - school. I slowly learned that school is the route I choose to take. And although, I sometimes slip into my old habits of neglect, I don't give up. I plan on going to college now, I know it is the best thing for me. More importantly than. teaming the facts, education is teaming about oneself. I've learned that being angry at the world doesn't make things better. The best thing one can do is to set an example for others to learn from Everyone learns at his or her own pace, and make his or her own choices. And there are some people who make bad choices, and others who refuse to learn But, their decisions are theirs alone. Some people choose to be spontaneous, other choose to have order, and others fall somewhere between. In this sense, people are like music. Classical music is structured, while jazz is improvisational, yet both can be so beautiful and profound. Each person is like a song, and no matter how great the contrast, each is equally beautiful. I needed time to find my own song, my own way, which is somewhere between structure and freedom. Some songs are triumphant; some are tragic. Everyday we live, another piece of the song comes together. I only hope whatever the song may be one writes, that they like what they have written.