Lorena De Leon '22
George Washington High School, Chicago, Illinois

Had I written this essay three years ago, I would have written with utmost passion about my desire to be a cardiologist. I would have shared that cardiology had lifted the veil placed on my eyes to blind me from my true essence - saving lives. I would have continued to share that it exhibited two of my most accented strengths: my attention to detail and my ability to value each person if though their soul was a reflection of my own. However, most importantly, I felt it was my destiny to grant others what my mother’s cardiologist had granted her: a healthier and rejuvenated life. It is three years later and I do not have a desire to be a cardiologist. The dream I had for cardiology was solely a fabrication of what I believed to be most just.

I have a way with words, and I am lyrical. My sweet symphonies are the essence of my being, yet I am not an aspiring songwriter nor am I an aspiring musician. I am a writer. With each word I craft, a part of my soul lives on beyond my years. It turns out that the magic of my words was so powerful, my soul had been deceived. For years, I had been writing about cardiology and science as though the letters c-a-r-d-i-o-l-o-g-y were coursing through my blood, and were tattooed to my heart. Dreams consisted of me writing novels of my career as a cardiologist, sharing my encounters and experience of being a cardiologist. My love for writing had become so pronounced that the passion I had been composing with was mistaken as a passion for cardiology.

As a child, I never acknowledged writing as anything more than a hobby. When I would put pen to paper I would solely describe it as just writing. It was never just writing. It was my life; it is who I am. Despite my undying love for this artform, I would tell myself that cardiology was what I wanted, even with the distance and disconnect I felt with cardiology. Regardless of how scholarly and recognized cardiology is, I had felt as though I was settling. However, that all changed.

It was a single sentence that unlocked the volta of my life’s story: If you do something you love, you never have to work a day in your life. This sentence, which I heard from an advisor, redirected my thoughts from who I was to who I wanted to be. It was in that moment that my initial thought was not of cardiology, it was of an image of life beyond its limits and a world of wonders, pen to paper, and the flight of young Lorena’s dreams. It was an image of writing.

I had always feared that no one would understand my love for writing, nor the bond I had formed with writing. When speaking with a person who does not possess my same passion, it’s as though our conversation is not a conversation at all, but rather a sharing of different languages. They cannot grasp the idea that writing is not solely descriptive language, it is not “red, yellow, blue,” as my aunt would describe it. Writing is the core of my being. It is engraved in my soul. Without it, I would not exist. Writing could never restrain me, because the one thing
it offers me that nothing else in the world ever could was the ability to not only think however I wanted to think, but to also be whatever I wanted to be.

I had begun a story I had praised for ten years of my life; it was a story I thought I knew the words to like the back of my hand, but the words had drifted and my dream of cardiology had become blurred by my true love and destiny - becoming a writer.