Wednesday, April 13, 2005

My Place in the Stars

As I packed up my things to head on home after my last class of the evening, my professor walked up to me, patted me on the shoulder and said, "You know, Ray, you never cease to amaze me."

"What do you mean?"

I knew clearly what he meant. At least I thought he did. There aren't too many people out there who can walk into a class 2 hours late, and deliver an on-point 50 minute presentation as if it were nothing.

"Ray, somehow, I know that one day, you're going to be giving Bill Gates a run for his money on the Fortune 500 list. There's just something about you that screams "talent." I may not know what it is, but all I know is that you have "it."

I stopped trying to shove a book that clearly wouldn't fit into my laptop case and turned to look at my professor.

"I'm sure you say that to a lot of your students."

"No, Ray. In all my 26 years of teaching, I've only met 3 students, including you, that have 'it.' You're a bright, calculating, and charismatic visionary. You have this air about you that exudes 'cool.' I seriously think that when people were telling their kids that they could be anything that they put their mind to, they were thinking about people like you."

I was simply floored. His words hit me like that truck slammed that girl in "Final Destination."

"You're at this stage in your life, now, that you've set out and achieved many of your initial goals, you're looking for something else to inspire you and carry you forward. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's going to be an incredible journey. But before you go off and try to find your place in the world, make sure you find your seat in my classroom, on time, next week."

I held onto every single word he said, waved a nervous goodbye, and walked outside, eager to just sit down somewhere and process everything he just said. As I felt the cold evening air hit my skin, I suddenly had the urge to turn towards the center of campus. I walked to the SU Quad, and noticed a little grouping of Astronomy geeks hovering around a huge telescope parked near the center of the Quad.

"Want to look at Saturn?"

I shrugged my shoulders and walked over to the group. Apparently, they were there to try to get passerby to join an Astronomy Club. Out of courtesy, I signed their little "interest" form and gave them my school e-mail address to send their crap to, and then walked up to the telescope to catch a glimpse at the famous "ringed planet." After some minor adjustments, I was finally able to catch a real-life glimpse of the planet. As huge as that planet is purported to be, it looked like a little white spec with rings around it. It was while I was looking at that planet that I suddenly had an epiphany.

Am I going to remain grounded on Earth, or rise to take my place in the stars?

I've always had the feeling that no matter what, I was going to become someone important, as if my life meant so much more than just me attending school and joining the workforce. With less than a month before graduation, I still don't know who that "important someone" is going to be, but I do know that I'm at a crossroads. The dilemma I'm faced with is how am I going to get right up there with Saturn? How am I going set myself apart from the rest, and in what direction am I headed in? Am I waiting for something to inspire me, like my professor said?

Whatever it is, I have no idea what's next for me. Where do I go from here? Where will I be 10 years from now? Will I challenge Bill Gates for financial bragging rights? Will I own my own business? Will I become a CEO? A lawyer? Or will I become a revolutionary in Latin America?

Clearly, the sky's the limit, but maybe it's not bad to try and aim for the stars. :-)

As for class, maybe it is time to aim for getting there on time...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's right, you do have something special about you. You'll find your way up to the stars, just don't forget about all the little people down here on Earth! :-P


8:33 PM  
Blogger Freebird said...

Great post. Whatever you do, don't sell yourself short.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Veronica said...

I wrote a comment earlier and have no idea what happened to it.

Anyway, basically what it said was that I agree with your professor. Ever since I began reading your blog I've sensed that you have "it".

There's just something about you that definitely screams TALENT!! :)

I just hope that as you discover the person that you will be you keep this blog so we can follow your journey.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Zulay said...

I could have told you that, lol.

It's hard hearing that shit about you and then have to come back to the same shit that traps you in time warp... a warp that makes you question, what am i doing to set myself apart? i'm sure u'll figure a way out though ... easier than most other people :-)


1:40 AM  

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