I love things that are old … No, I love things that are new. Which is it? Well, I can love both by embracing each extreme. For example, I find an old, used book brings me much more enjoyment than if I had bought it new. There is no doubt my pleasure of the actual text will not be changed if it is written by a captivating author, no matter where it has been. Yet I cannot help but be egged with curiosity of all whom have read this particular book before me. Upon every page I know there are remnants of laughter, and, within the binding, stains of tears. I am not afraid to mention my tears, outward laughter and sighs I give. When I return to places that burst my emotions, I meet them as friends who have been longing to meet. So, as I read books either handed down to me or borrowed – especially from libraries – I cannot fully explain my eagerness and curiosity to know the readers before me may have been influenced as I have. At every smear I question and hope it to be a tear from their heart, and with every fold I am hopeful it was a place to which the previous reader wanted to return. To me there is such great thrill in old books.

In opposition, the new can be just as exciting, in its own way. A brand-new, blank piece of paper, although empty and without significance, possesses great beauty in the mystery and anticipation held in its potential. What great things could possibly be written on this piece of paper? Just imagine the slip of paper sitting before someone like Shakespeare or Tennyson. The piece is open to serve its master, but I can only imagine its eagerness and hope that something of great beauty or importance could be written upon it. Perhaps it was used to solve a very important formula, to create groundbreaking legislation, to write a motivational speech, write great poetry, inspire new song lyrics or be the scribbling of a famous sketch. The possibilities of the new are endless, potentially transcending all thought. The old can be treasured for the mystery of meaning held by all those before, yet the new can also be treasured just as much for the anticipation of the potential for its future.

Although “old” and “new” are such extreme words, I do feel they are appreciated in a positive way. In a world wrung tight with “rights” and “wrongs,” I believe we are unconsciously taught extremes are disagreeable. We are told the right- and left-wing extremists are unrealistic or extreme bitter or sweet is a taste we cannot endure. Yet I am set in believing a person must live in the extremes. We have one life, and it should be full of the rich, deep and painfully strong memories. Yes, there are limits to society and the law, but there are no limits on how to enjoy any piece of them. So, I will take my coffee black, I will strive for the most prestigious position, I will love the environment and stand by and fight for it faithfully, and I will have that ice cream and like it too. The middle ground is too bland and too safe, and when we sacrifice because of the risks we sacrifice truly living. If I want something, I have to be hopeful with all my heart and soul. I should never pull back or hesitate even slightly for fear of it, but instead put all of myself into that hope.

If I allow myself to live in the limbo of a middle ground I will not receive the full happiness if I do succeed. If I don’t succeed, there will still be that sting of disappointment I originally feared. I must fly and soar in hope by never looking back and never looking down in fear or worry. This is the best extreme to live in and, even if I fail or never reach my dream, I believe soaring to that highest height with all the excitement and bliss of hope keeps us alive and is worth the fall on the way down.