Recently I finished James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and had trouble getting through the first chapter. The following of one's thoughts is quite the challenge for an outsider and I was sure that this would be the most difficult book I would ever have to get through.
Turns out, after a little ways, Stephen Dedalus and I have quite a lot in common. For those unfamiliar, Dedalus has been said to be the characterization of Joyce, so in essence, Joyce and I have a few things in common. The similarities are really uncanny. Stephen goes from being a devoted church-goer, to a man drowning in sin, to a pastor-in-training, to a university student, to confused, to an artist. In between we see a young boy/man introverted and conversing with himself. Deep thoughts and unusual worries plague the character. He eventually sheds all that weighs him down to transcend the mundane for the exceptional.
I could not but connect much of my story to this one. Stephen even attended college for the same reasons I have. There is a message here, and I feel like it is pretty apparent. The trick will be putting it into fruition. How will I transcend all that I have let define me to truly find my voice as an artist. I would assume I am on the right path, but I must be weary of my actions, my surroundings, and mostly my plans. I must put aside many of the things I thought I may have wanted in order to reach my full potential (yes, Stephen and I even share the philosophy of what an artist should be).
As I move ever so slowly to find my way in my new surroundings, it is a great relief to be reassured that I am on the right track. Since this revelation/message I have become quite comfortable with my surroundings. Except Spanish, but that will just have to be something I endure. My mind is beginning to ease the frantic pace it had adopted and the calming, confident Brandon is beginning to reemerge. My teachers have already recognized my above average intellect (even while I feel I have done nothing to stand out yet) and that is really when I began to thrive previously. The semester seems evenly paced now, and my future here at McDaniel feels natural. The allure of planning three years in advance has given up reign as I have reclaimed my confidence in being in the perfect location. Not that I really needed it; McDaniel was glaring me right in the face before I made my decision, and I had no regrets when I made it.
It will be interesting to observe and see how it plays out, where it takes me. My excitement is returning ever so gently to its rightful location, coupled with my will to fulfill my calling.