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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 54
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
Ceaseless Ambition
Adelle Pritchard

When I was young, I believed I could do anything. To say I was ambitious would be an understatement. That’s pretty typical of a kid. I watched Buddy Valastro make towering cakes that were practically art, and I began wrecking our kitchen weekly with flour and sugar to try and recreate his masterpieces, confident a recipe wasn’t necessary. I went to a Paul McCartney concert and fell in love with the idea of creating my own music that may one day have the ability to captivate an audience of thousands in the same way. I saw politicians give speeches that united millions over common goals of helping others, and I knew that I wanted my career to be focused on accomplishing that same feat. I was able to believe I could do all of those things and everything else because no one ever told me I couldn’t. I wasn’t limited by probability, and so I lived in a world where it was obsolete.

As we grow older, we tend to lose some of that ceaseless ambition. We’re told that it’s not possible to achieve these grand things we’ve planned - that it’s just not the way the world works. The more we’re told that, the more we give into it. We settle and go for the safer route. We begin to associate ambition with delusion.

I’ve had the good fortune and privilege to grow up never having my ideas dismissed because they were crazy and unrealistic, and I’ve definitely had some ideas that fit into those categories. Instead, I was taught to consider crazy an indication I’m on the right track, and unrealistic as a poor excuse to not try. Believing in the seemingly impossible leads to making it a reality.

I have hundreds of ambitious ideas, and I’m planning on pursuing them all. I want to change laws that therefore change lives. I want to perform on a Broadway stage where legends have stood. I want to open a nonprofit that helps people living in food deserts before I go to college. I want to be famous enough to where people spell my first name and pronounce my last name correctly. I don’t want my life to be one paved path. I want it to have hundreds of sprawling roads, each different and amazing in its own way.  Some beautiful and serene, with a glittering spotlight leading the way, and others less glamorous with rocky terrain, but with the most worthwhile view.

I believe ambition gives us the power to go beyond the expected. To exceed the predictable and do extraordinary things. It’s the driver of change and hope for our world. If we hold onto that ambition, the limitations we have become less of an insurmountable barrier and turn into anticipated obstacles that can be overcome. Ambition gives us the ability to live out what we are told is impossible. The only true constraint we have is how big we allow ourselves to dream.