Above / Upon request, Otto wrote, “Here’s a photo from either late elementary school (May Watts Elementary School) or early middle school (Hill Middle School). I’m the one on the far right with the excellent fashion taste.”
Nearly every child is asked what they want to be when they grow up, and the United States of America is a wonderful place because every dream is possible. Today, I dream of starting my own company. Four years ago I dreamt of playing professional soccer, and twelve years ago I wanted to be a dragon tamer. I would lose myself in the fantasy of my desired future and thought that if I wished hard enough, my dreams really could come true.
All things considered, I’m a little sad it took me eighteen years to realize that my life is what I make of it and wishes don’t often work. Of course I knew that, but it never properly sunk in. I graduated from Metea Valley this spring, and I sat down after walking across the stage and it was then that I kinda woke up. I was struck with the realization that for the first time ever, the path I choose is my decision, and mine alone.
So I plan to make good choices, but I’ll definitely end up making some bad ones. I’m prepared to take risks, and not all of them will go according to plan. I’ll chase my dreams and fight for what I love. I’ll take what I can get and give back what I can, and in the end, I can sleep easy knowing that the life I lived was my own and that I lived it. I no longer have any excuses to not live my life to the fullest. The future I’ve been waiting on is here and I intend on making the most of it.
I leave for college at the end of August and I am thrilled for what lies ahead. For those who have been reading my articles for these past few years, I want to say thank you and I hope I spread some positivity back into Naperville.
Editor’s Note / The photo we requested from Otto jarred our memory and gives us an opportunity to express a little gratitude for his stories, mindful that he was among the neighborhood youngsters we observed from time to time as he grew up. We watched him play, wait for the school bus and trek along the sidewalk with his lawnmower on his way to mow lawns. Who’d have thought one day he’d be a columnist for PN! Otto’s thoughtful insights and contributions to our publication since he was in 10th grade have been appreciated. We hope he’ll keep in touch.