This I Believe

Alison - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Finding Freedom in High Ceilings

I believe in the freedom of high ceilings. Freedom to imagine. Freedom to be inside my own head. Freedom to be me.

My elementary school had one main hallway with a very tall ceiling and walls covered in beautiful murals. I liked to imagine a world in that hallway, a place where my imagination could soar and explore. I was a princess in this hallway. I could dance at the balls, ride in my carriage, or sing from my tower in this hallway. And, best of all, in my fairytale, there was no evil villain.

My imagination grew in this hallway. I began seeing things in an imaginative, creative way. My biggest lesson in elementary school was learning how to think.

Unfortunately, when I moved up to middle school, things changed. The hallways were short and scary, not tall and inviting. My imagination couldn’t roam free in these small hallways. I felt trapped.

There was, however, one place for me to dream: the atrium. The atrium was the heart of the school; it was a circular room with stained glass windows encircling the top. I would imagine the view through those beautiful windows.

I loved to see how the light came in the room. The beautiful colors made shapes and images in my head: small flowers, falling leaves, all sorts of things. I could create a scene from these shapes and tell a story.

I had found my small place of escape in a scary new school. I could now imagine again. Everyone should have a place where his imagination can run wild. This is where I see imagination.

The home I grew up in has a very tall open living/dining room area. There are angles and slants in this ceiling which converge at one point; I see geometry in this ceiling. I love to just look up and think. I can think about a failure or an accomplishment. This is the place where my love of math can take over my brain. I see triangles and rhombuses. I see skewed and parallel lines. This is where I see math.

It may seem odd that my mind can find freedom in an enclosed space. And it is. My mind moves around freely with high ceilings. Whether I’m dreaming or calculating, I’m free. Finding freedom is an individual process. Some are free onstage. Some are free with a good book. Some are free in nature. Everyone needs a place to set his mind free, but for me: I believe in high ceilings.