I came to college with a desire to change. I wanted to reinvent myself from the awkward high school senior who shaped the past 18 years of his life through the pursuit of a goal without questioning what was important to him. I came with a set of dreams — for myself, for the world, for whatever community and mission to which I could offer up my existence. But after two years of college, all I am left with is disillusionment and a set of realistic expectations for the next five years of my life.

It leaves a bitter taste on my tongue. Realistic, as if the past 20 years of my life have not been real enough. I suppose I have been living in quite a dream, not because my past couple of years of my life have been blissful, but because the problems that had consumed me for such long chapters of my plot arc no longer obsessively echo within the caverns of my consciousness. In that sense, I suppose I have awoken from my sleep. I realized that the ghosts that have chased me for so long did not actually have any substance; they were just problems I created when I didn’t have any real problems.

I still look behind me to find the ghosts that have chased me. The meaningful moments I have shared with friends who have long been washed away from my memory always find a way to resurface during times I wish I could forget the most. Like now, when my absence of understanding how I wanted to contribute to society seems to finally materialize in the form of professional failure. I wish I could plunge back into my memory of my reverie when my problems could be summarized by a series of shortcomings I could still address with directionality. Now that I have awaken, I wish I could drown in this hopeless fountain kingdom.

I suppose I give too little credit to my friends and family. They have been and continue to be integral contributors to my development. And for that, I am truly grateful. I am grateful for the fact that I could contemplate how I wanted to dedicate my life in the service of something. But sometimes, I feel as if the overwhelming amount of choice that I have been given only serves to hurt me. Without choice, I would not need to think about the opportunity costs of all of my decisions. Without choice, I would never have been exposed to the concept of mistake. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

I fear that I will live the rest of my life as a cloud that is compelled to exist by an arbitrary set of weather conditions and pushed by the wind without any underlying purpose. I fear that I will merely exist and not thrive. While I consider these fears to be real sentiments, it is also merely a symptom of an overarching problem that cannot be addressed. The accumulation of missed opportunity can be overwhelming.

I have never relied on myself. I am the problem. I envy those who can rely on themselves. Because, in terms of all the problems that I have encountered throughout my life, I can never overcome those that I create myself. It is impossible to do so because those problems are created alongside the inception my identity. You cannot delete the sun from the solar system, as the solar system is created around the sun itself. External problems can be addressed through internal means, but internal problems cannot be addressed at all. It is the final limitation between the life I want and the life I lead. In discovering my own limitations, this is the final frontier.