This I Believe

Ali - Lafayette, California
Entered on December 6, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Fantasy as Reality

From the time I was born, my mother read to me nightly. I was immersed in a world of unbridled imagination that’s had a huge effect on my outlook on knowledge, limitations, and life. As I progressed through elementary school, I continued to hunger for these fantastic stories and tore through books as quickly as I could. As I aged, my focus shifted away from magical adventure to science, specifically quantum mechanics. It sounds a little absurd, I know, but it’s entirely true, and all of the time I’ve spent in these various realms of unreality has led me to a definitive conclusion. I believe that the world is much greater than I can possibly imagine.

All of the books that I’ve pored over since childhood say that anything is possible. Until relatively recently, any time someone uttered that cliché, I relied on the same counterexample: “But…I can’t be a sheep.” Without fail, that silly statement popped into my head every single time a teacher, coach, or parent encouraged me to pursue my dreams because I could be anything I wanted to be. Inspirational quotes from various movies were ruined when a little voice would whisper that in my ear. I have no clue where I picked it up, but I was constantly reminded of that reality.

However, in the past years, I came to question reality itself. I can’t pretend to fathom even a small fraction of what quantum theory is really about, but that’s okay, because I understand it as it applies to my outlook. To briefly sum it up: every time I have to make a decision there are separate universes created in which I choose each of the options, and I determine my own reality through perception. Essentially, anything really is possible. In my eyes, this is unbelievably confusing and exciting. Logic says that I can’t trust anything I see, hear, feel, or even believe, but intuition tells me that all of it is real.

I may not be able to fully comprehend the magnitude of life and the vastness of the universe, but I don’t need to. It’s enough for me to sense that there’s so much more going on out there than I am currently aware of. I’m sure that some day I’ll know much more, but for now the only thing I can tell conclusively is that I have countless choices ahead of me.

In the end, I really don’t want to be a sheep, but I’m sure that, in some plane of existence, I could do just that. My world is just as fantastic as any book I loved as a kid, and knowing that I’m the heroine of my own story is truly thrilling. For the time being, I’m going to learn as much as I can about anything and everything that interests me. I know that the only way to grasp the infiniteness of my life is through imagination.