Through My Spectacles: Let’s Be Honest


By Amari D. Pollard '17, News & Features Editor

I think there are many situations and stages in people’s lives that force them to take a step back and ask themselves: What is it that I really want?

The only problem with asking that question is that the answer is not always so easy to come by; because a lot of people either don’t know what they want, or they’re sometimes afraid to admit to themselves what they do want and go after it.

Being in college there are several points where we are forced to think about that question, whether it’s about schoolwork, sports, relationships, internships, graduate school, etc. There are so many options out there and at this age we’re kind of expected (for some strange reason that is beyond me) to know to a certain extent which ones we want to take, or to quickly figure it out.

When it comes to deciding what it is we want to do for a living I think a lot of people our age stray from what they truly desire because it’s not considered practical by societal standards, or it’s less likely to provide us with the style of living we want (or we’re used to). So we conform, we settle with becoming accountants and lawyers and doctors because that’ll give us smiles and nods instead of crossed-eyes when we say we want to be philosophers and artists and producers.

When it comes to sports we don’t always go for that one v. one drive to the goal because there is a good chance the ball will not hit the back of the net, that the missed goal will cause a change of possession, that we mess up—and no one wants that. So we become comfortable with being a spectator, watching as the game unfolds before us, wishing it was us who scored that goal instead of believing we can, and actually doing it.

When it comes to relationships we don’t go after the people we’re really attracted to because we’re afraid that we’re somehow inadequate—we convince ourselves we’re not pretty enough or smart enough or talented enough.  So we silently admire from afar and watch some other person go after the one we want. Or we move from guy to guy or girl to girl because we’re young and we can, and no one seems to be concerned with dating, even if we secretly want something simple—a relationship where someone cares for us and respects us as much as we do them.

We avoid challenges and opportunities so that we remain in the safe zone, where hurt and disappointment can’t touch us; but by doing that the only one that loses is us.

Perhaps it’s time that instead of being “satisfied” with what we have or what we think we can get, we  go after what we truly want. A friend of mine once told me people have to remove the word “try” from their vocabulary because it suggests the possibility of failure; by using this word you’ve already engrained the idea that you can’t achieve certain things into your own head.

Maybe the problem isn’t that we’re afraid to admit what we want or even go after what we want, but that we don’t fully understand our worth, or what we’re capable of. That we are pretty enough, smart enough, and good enough to get what we wish for; that we deserve the job, and the guy (or girl), and the future that we let take over our consciousness before we go to sleep.

So, I leave you with this quote from Marianne Williamson: “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, /but that we are powerful beyond measure. /It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. /We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, /gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? /Actually, who are you not to be?”