While growing up in America, we are told as young children that we can become whatever we strive to be. The American dream could lead us to places bigger and better than we could ever imagine. As a young child, we are asked on a daily basis: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Like most children, my answer changed frequently. When I was four, I was convinced that I wanted to be a doctor. This is common for a young pre-school student. As I got older, I did not deviate too much, but I knew I wanted to work with children. As time passed, becoming a teacher became a clear choice. This was more of a pipedream. I finally defined my future career in fifth grade. We had to research a future career, and one of my friend’s choice to be a lawyer, due to limited research material two students could not be that same career, I settled with researching a paralegal. For about two months I was convinced that I was going to be a paralegal until my grandmother stated “you are too smart and will make very little money, you should just become a lawyer”. I am unsure if this was my idea or someone else’s but I focused all of my energy and scheduled all of my classes in the hopes of becoming an attorney. It affected the extra-curricular classes I took in high school, the perfect grades that I focused my efforts on, and eventually the colleges I applied to.
As I was accepted to college, I know that I was going on a pre-law track when a concerned High school teacher gave the advice of majoring in a subject that I would peak my interest because I could apply to Law school with any type of degree. To make a long story short, I entered college with a History major and soon would become a double major in political science. Now that I am a senior in college and it has become closer to the time of graduation, I realize that my dreams were not originally my own but had become my own. They became my entire focus and consumed my life. I do not regret focusing my efforts on a dream that was not my own, but have simply redefined my life.
To this day people still ask me difficult question about my future and what I will become. The conversations usually starts out along the lines: “what are you studying in college, What are you going to do with that?, and What do you want to pursue that career?”. All of these questions are quite intimidating and I usually give the short explanation about becoming a corporate attorney with a focus on international trade agreements, which usually leads to many more questions. This has become my rehearsed and coup out answer. As time passed, I have finally found out what I want to do with my future.
The truth boils down to the fact, my American dream is to be remembered. It is a simple life goal that has more implications than could ever be imagined. I want to be someone that is written down in history and is known for the things I have said, the difference I have made, and the life that I have lived. Someone to remember years down the road for something remarkable. As conceited as this may sound, it stems from the notion that one day everyone gets buried in a grave and forgotten about. Within their graves are their hopes, dreams, admirations, and unwritten past to no longer be told. I simply want to be remembered rather than a person who has been forgotten about or another number or statistic in the United States Census. The fact the I will never be the president or someone crazy famous has made me realize many people will never remember me or my legacy, but what is clear is that the people I impact the most on a daily basis will pass way before me or have already passed.
This has been a reality that has constantly been on my mind until early this week. Early this week as I am working at my seasonal job in a personal care home taking care of the elderly, I was dressing one of my residents for the morning, as I am dressing her on the television was the annual Christmas eve parade from the day before. As the parade is going each float has a performance or a group of singers. Than a group begins to sing “My girl” by the temptation. My resident tells me how much she likes the song and ask if we could sit down for a second and listen. Ironically this song was my grandfather’s favorite song. To this day this song brings back so many memories and reminds me of the man he was. The caring individual that was nowhere near perfect but someone that was a comic relief within our family. Someone that was cared for deeply and impacted my life more than anyone could ever realize. He inspired some of my greatest poetry and some of passions that I had in life. This moment made me realize that we are all remembered by those that we choice to spend the journey of life with. My legacy is not simply my future, but also my past. It is not the fact that I may become an amazing philanthropic attorney or whatever the future may hold. It lies in the fact that I hold memories of thousands of people that I have been in direct contact with. The hundreds of resident’s that have told me their story and their past life while I have taken care of them over the past four and half years. All of us will be remembered and everyday is a chance to have another person to remember you in the way you have impacted their life. I have learned another great lesson on life. Treat everyone with respect, dignity, and make a lasting memory because this will become someone else’s memory. You are making that impact on someone and you will be remembered. My American Dream rest upon those I make memories with and interact with. My will be remembered even if it may only be by one person.