A Moment That Changed My Life - Essay

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This is my creative essay for the Film Program at NYU. The prompt was: "Introduce yourself. Describe an unforgettable event in your life and how it changed your perception of yourself or the view of someone close to you. This event can be dramatic and/or comedic. The assignment may be written as a short story in the first person or as an essay."

My one fear is that my essay is hard to understand. So any feedback on how it reads to other people would be a huge help. And also any gramatical errors or anything like that that you find would be a help as well. I'm probably mailing this out today so please, any advice would be much appriciated. Thanks.

How did I get here? How did this happen.
I sat staring through the open car door as it dangled there in front of my eyes. How had I not seen it before; how had it never caught my eye? It hit me so fast, like a wave that unexpectedly overtakes you as you walk along the beach. "It's really happening," I thought to myself. I am no longer a child. I am terrified.

And it's not fear that troubles me, it's realization. It's the realization that my life will simply just keeps moving along and I have no say in the matter. It's the realization that I no longer have what seems like all the time in the world to figure out what I want to do with that life; what I want to be, what I want to leave behind after I'm gone. It's finally time for me to stop thinking but rather go out and do the things I've dreamed of; the things I've only wondered at, baffled at, as I lay alone in my bed at night. It had never felt real until now.

I stared at it as it hung there, as it hung unaware of the meaning it gave to me at this moment. Those few seconds stretched for hours, stretched to encompass the span of a lifetime in the flash of a blinking eye. And that's what it all now felt like; a blink, a moment, a flash. Is that what it will feel like at the end? A flash?

When I was a little girl, my father took me to the fair. He bought me a wristband so that I could go on all of the rides without having to fumble with tickets. He told me, "Darling, you can do anything you want here, just say the word." To a young child, hearing those words was like being given the keys to the world; being given complete freedom. To me, freedom was a precious thing.

I craved it; desired it above all else.
But you see, in my eyes, freedom was simply having whatever you want, when you want, and not having to do anything you don't want to get it. In my eyes, freedom was a perfect world, but only for me. Of course over time I was persuaded from these views by opening my eyes to the hard work and responsibility involved in having "freedom." As I grew older I earned more privileges. I worked to make my own money, began driving, found myself a wonderful boy, and even began preparing for college; dreaming of going out on my own and making a name for myself in this wide world. And for a while the illusion was indeed convincing. I allowed myself to believe that over time I would gain more control in my life and that that control would one day become absolute. But it was still just an illusion, a dream; an idea of a perfect world, my perfect world. Eventually I would realize that the one thing which I thought could bring me my absolute freedom is the one thing that will forever hold it back. Time.

Time is the one thing which binds everyone. Even the most wealthy, most powerful people in the world will die someday. Do you think they chose that for themselves? Do you think they wouldn't change it if they could? You could have the whole world in the palm of your hand, but the reality remains; everyone is born, everyone grows older, and everyone will eventually die. Our time is limited.

That can't be changed, just accepted.
So staring, I sat as it hung limply outside the open car door. How had I never seen it before? How had it never caught my eye? How had it all happened so fast? The lines, those small cracks, they...
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