Where I Live, and What I Live For

The following is an essay I had to write for AP Language.


Life is but an entity of tragedy, hope, and loss. It is a comparison of a previous state to a current one, and a constant pursuit of happiness based on the condition of life that is lived in that moment. I know happiness because I have experienced grief, I know sadness because I have been happy. I know kindness because I have seen corruption. I know love because I have experienced hate. To live is to love. To love is intentional.

I live in a city that is diverse, entertaining, and different. Austin is a place of acceptance and life, occupied by lively people. I come from a town that is humble, picturesque, neighborly, and small. Moving across the country was essential despite the claims I made at the time. Without moving I wouldn’t have discovered my passions, interests, and self in the ways that I did. At the time I was devastated and wanted to be somewhere else; I was living in the past instead of focusing on the future. I think I ultimately moved because I needed to learn what life could teach me while greeting it head on, I needed to be exposed to a new culture beyond a town of eight thousand people. I am living in a place surrounded with people and full of relationships I have made which I can further and deepen. I moved to experience life and love people, and now I am living in a place where I get to do that.

I live to give worth to others. This is not the only thing I hope my life consists of, but I am hopeful that it is apparent and noticeable in the hearts of others. I believe that no one should feel isolated in a place where they are not, and that people can feel appreciated through acts of kindness and love. When greeted with kindness an attitude and heart can brighten. A person is so entangled with their own mind and body and the little things that happen around them that they remain restless and anxious until given a reason to feel soothed and loved. I live to bring people that hope and joy, and possibly sooth their restlessness and give them a chance to realize the worth they possess. I also believe that community can impact a person for the better or the worse. Personally I have a few people who I wholeheartedly trust and rely on, and I always feel comfortable to be around them and talk about things important to me. I want to be that person for other people, so they realize they are not alone.  People are so worthy, and I think life is about showing them that.

Acts of tragedy remind us that nothing is promised. The world we live in is full of discrimination, hatred, fear of those who are different, self-doubt, and sadness. Every senseless act of hate creates an atmosphere of fear and seclusion. But there cannot be darkness without the knowledge of light, and there cannot be hate without the knowledge of love. I think tragedies show strength and perseverance, despite how hopeless a situation may be. I think I live on this earth to help others in those times, and offer to take their burdens and walk along side them. I saw this mainly in Uganda the first time I traveled there, by observing the selfless attitudes of the missionaries as well as the Ugandans. When something damaging would happen in another person’s life, everyone would race to their side to help and be with them through the adversity they were facing. Despite the tragedies that happen in this world every day there are those people who confront them with realism and compassion to make the situation better. I strive every day to be one of those people, and I want to live to correct injustice and calamity.

As said by Albert Camus, “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” To live is to live in the moment and not to fear what the future holds for you. Easier said than done, especially when living in a time when being busy is normal and future rapidly becomes reality. I need to work on not stressing out, and accepting change and hardship. I hope that eventually I will be able to live for the now instead of worrying about the when and why.

I guess I live for a lot of things. I live for the sky, I live for music, I live for kindness, I live for success. But ultimately I live to help others. I live in a city that can be viewed on a map, but life’s setting is constantly changing. It’s what you do with that setting that shows who you are. I live in a world of hope challenged with adversity, no matter where I tangibly belong. I live inside my own head, but more importantly I live in and with ideas and creativity that cause me to strive to make this world a better place. I want other people to be happy even at the risk of my own, and I want others to realize their potential and worth. I live to share stories, and I want to travel the world doing so. I don’t want to reach the end of my life and realize I have not lived at all, I want to live it with others by my side who want to seek adventure and spread kindness as much as I do. To live is to love, and I hope to love intentionally.

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