Min the Romantic

Time travel machines, another world, autism, illicit love, and fairies all have one in common — they are few of the many I have used in context for my writing, whether it be flash fiction, short story, or poetry. I love creative writing because I can explore anything I want to, in a world where reality is insignificant. My attachment towards creative writing helped me identify myself as a Romantic since Romanticism focuses interpreting the world through one’s own intuition and emotions. Although I possess some Rationalist qualities because I like to reason and argue with logic, I am more of a Romantic because I value expressing and celebrating emotions, recognizing abilities, and creating through spontaneity and creativity.

To begin with, I identify myself as a Romantic because I strongly believe that expressing emotions is vital for one to be able to recognize and cherish their feelings. I always try to get my genuine thoughts and emotions across, since in doing so, I become more certain about how I feel towards a situation. Whether I am angered or delighted, my emotions and thoughts become clearer to me when I speak or write about a matter. There are many times at school when teachers asked me about my position on a topic, and talking really helped me. For example, Mr. Neeno in Asian History always makes students talk about what their strategy would be if they were king of the dynasty or country in a certain era. At first, this was difficult to answer and I found myself fumbling over my notes to recollect what kings in other eras have done in their ruling periods. But when I started to talk within my group of brilliant 9th grade students, my uncertainty and confusion cleared because I could organize my thoughts as I formed them into words in my mouth. Likewise, my emotions towards a matter become more distinct and recognizable when I talk about the issue. In Korea today, Park Gun Hae (the current president) is a huge controversial issue. I didn’t know how I truly felt towards the matter because I was caught in two sides — my mom’s side of the family thought that corruption had always taken place in the government, so Park Gun Hae was really a tip of the iceberg, and my dad’s side of the family thought that Park Gun Hae had destroyed Korea and that she should be severely condemned. Recently, I was talking to Chaeree, my senior friend, about the Korean president and I found myself expressing severe contempt and disgust towards the woman. I was taken aback at my extreme hatred towards the president because it was the first time I found out my true feelings about the matter. This made me extremely thankful that I had the ability to express my emotions because I could recognize my stance.

On top of appreciating the expression of emotions, I strongly value the recognition of abilities. I think that recognizing one’s abilities is an important Romantic characteristic because it encourages one to appreciate the skills one has brought to the world, and move forward with those skills and thus form a deeper connection with oneself. Until I was 12 years old, I shifted from playing piano to playing violin years at a time; I started playing piano first when I was four, then two years later I changed to playing violin for three years, then piano for a year, then violin for two years . . . This went on until I was 12. At 12, I decided I wanted to play a completely different instrument, and therefore started to learn how to play the oboe. I entered orchestras and concerts with my oboe, and received commendation all the time. This gave me assurance and caused me to continue to play the oboe. And by playing the oboe and struggling to learn how to play harder songs, I discovered more about my personality, moods, and potentialities. Before, I kept switching back and forth from playing the piano and playing the violin because I had not recognized or been recognized of my abilities. However, once I had certainty in myself playing the oboe, I was able to enrich myself with improved oboe skills and learning of self. When I reflect upon it, I think the reason I like creative writing so much may be because I have been recognized many times. I first started creating little books with paper and a stapler at second grade, and my teacher told me to self- publish it since she thought my writings skills exceeded as a second grader. Later around third grade, I won in a CITY magazine writing contest and was recognized with second place in a nation-wide creative writing contest. I continued to self- publish books as years passed, and by eighth grade I had five books self-published. I was also recognized in the Scholastic Writing contest multiple times. Due to the multiple recognitions, I was able to enrich myself further because I persevered in writing more creatively and truer to myself. In both cases, recognition helped me earn a deepened understanding of myself by allowing me to focus on my passions and inner struggles.

Finally, my love for spontaneity and ingenuity re-establishes the Romantic in me because I tend to act based on emotion over reason, and senses over intellect. I think that impulsive actions based on one’s emotions are necessary because they are what makes one feel present at the moment and different from others. I believe that acting based on senses can create a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth, as you could learn more about yourself and how you handle difficult or challenging matters; You could learn about a side of you that you had never known before. A couple of years ago, my mom and I decided on a spur of a moment to go to America and take a tour around California. It was a completely impulsive action, as we had not talked about it with anyone else, and we left four days after deciding to go. We did not have a tour guide either, and we simply traveled around with the college roommate of my mom who lived in Los Angeles. Although the trip was completely unplanned and unnecessary, my mom and I learned that we could still survive impulsive trips to a different country, and thus went on a couple of more impulsive trips. By traveling to an area with completely different culture, language, and system, I was able to grow as a person since I learned how to communicate and expose myself readily to new ideas and values.

In order to become stronger individuals, we need to think as Romantics and celebrate our existence through thinking, speaking, and creating based on emotions. My experience throughout my life helped me understand the importance of expressing my thoughts, receiving recognition, and acting based on emotions because these actions grew me as an individual in that I learned more about and formed a deeper connection to myself. From this we can learn that knowing how one feels is extremely important because it provides one with so much more opportunities of growing intellectually.

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