Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Everest

A while ago, someone made a comment that I've been meaning to reply to for some time now. For that matter, there's actually quite a few things I've been meaning to write about - such as my graduation party (great fun and great gifts), the new Harry Potter movie (wicked), HASS-D's (so hard to choose!), and the next installment of my Top Ten list (hint: it's about IAP)...

Clearly, a blogger's work is never done.

As I was saying, though, some time ago a reader named Star made this comment: "Oh, and I bet I know your real reason for starting this blog, you applying for MIT blogger, right? If so, I wish you luck."

Well, Star, sorry for taking so long to reply, but your comment rather took me aback. Because you are right, to a degree - I am indeed applying to be a blogger. I doubt anyone who frequents the MIT Admissions site will be terribly surprised to hear that - and yet at the same time it's still very hard for me to actually admit to you all that I'm going to give it a shot.

At my high school, there was this kid I tutored, two years younger than me, and his second-greatest ambition in life is to get into Notre Dame. And I told him several times, "Ryan, be careful who you trust with your dreams." I don't think he understood what I meant - I doubt I would have understood two years ago - but I've noticed something this past year. Basically, I've realized that there are some people who will remember you more for your failures, for the things you tried to achieve but for some reason were unable to grasp, than for your actual accomplishments. It's stupid and it's petty, but it still happens - hell, I do it too sometimes, I'd be lying if I said I didn't.

And that's why I'm not going to tell you what Ryan's greatest ambition is, even though you have no idea who he is - and I hope he doesn't tell anyone else either. I am grateful he trusted me with it, and I dearly hope he makes it come true. But sharing a dream is like saying "I love you" - it's a sign of trust, and yet there are people who will abuse that trust if given the opportunity. And that's why it's sometimes better to stay silent, to lock your dreams within the deepest, most private parts of your heart, utterly inviolable, until the day you finally make them real.

And yet - and yet, having said all that, I am going to forgo my own advice and confess: yes, I want to be an MIT blogger. So thank you for your wishes, Star - I feel I'm going to need them. To be honest, I have dreamed of being an admissions blogger for a very long time - before I even got into MIT, actually. A secret burning desire, if you wanted to get poetic about it. The first person I told was my dad, as we were driving to the airport after CPW. I haven't told a single soul since - until now.

Why now? Well, for one thing - as I mentioned before, I think it's pretty obvious, so I might as well face up to it. And even more importantly than that...I almost think I've been hindering myself - and my blogging - by not mentioning it. Never before have I linked to the MIT blogs, even though I visit them almost every day, and that's frankly not honest at all.

And there's one other reason I'm glad to be confessing this: I can now come out and tell you all, straight-up, even though I do want to be an MIT blogger - even though keeping this blog is a necessary step on the road to making that dream real - I am blogging for no other reason than because I want to. Do you remember what George Mallory said, when a reporter asked him why he wanted to climb Mount Everest? He said, "Because it's there."

This blog is my Everest.

As the title of the blog hints, in many ways I feel that I am only just now really entering the world. I am a work in progress - and MIT is going to shape me in so many ways over the next four years. I created this blog so that you could join me on that adventure - if you want to. They say MIT is not for the weak of heart. I'm beginning to think they're right, and that makes me happy beyond all words.

It's going to be one hell of a ride.


Anonymous said...

Hm. . .

I agree with you about who you share your dreams with, I've made the mistake of telling people and had a near miss with that, but it turned out alright in the end.

As for MIT blogging, good luck, don't edge me out! :p

Anonymous said...

"Be careful who you trust with your dreams" - that's very poetic, I have to say. I hope you wouldn't mind if I steal that quote and put it somewhere. You shouldn't let something that precious slip away after all. :)

Plus, I suppose, there is quite a bit of truth in it.

Anyhoo, good luck with everything.

Anonymous said...

You're obviously very excited about the new adventure upon which you're about to embark, and I find your writing refreshingly honest and enthusiastic. I hope you'll continue to blog (or keep a private journal) even if you aren't chosen as an MIT blogger. More importantly, I hope you remain optimistic about the world you're entering and the person you're becoming.