My Place At The End Of The Line Essay

My Place At The End Of The Line Essay

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Taking my place near the end of the line, I glanced nervously at the hundreds of people waiting in front of me. What had I gotten myself into? My mind raced, trying to think of excuses to leave as I spent every minute worrying about how awkward I might feel, how I don’t know how to dance, and how uncomfortable the whole night would be. Before I knew it, the end of the line became the beginning, and my turn arrived. “Brett,” I heard a woman say. “This is Melissa. She’s going to be your date for the evening.” I took a deep breath, summoning every ounce of confidence inside me while furiously trying to hide the insecurity plastered all over my face. I introduced myself, “Hi Melissa. It’s so good to meet you. Are you ready to have some fun?” I took hold of her wheelchair’s handles—and we were off.

Plagued with cerebral palsy, Melissa was one of hundreds of adults with special needs who came that night for an evening of food, games, and dancing. I volunteered to accompany one of the guests as her date throughout the night’s various activities. The evening culminated in an hour or two on the dance floor, where I rocked and swayed Melissa to the sound of “Tiny Dancer,” and helped move her arms to the shouts of “Y-M-C-A!” It was one of the most memorable nights of my life, and I spent more than an hour of it standing in line, desperately trying to find a way out.

Looking back on that night, it is startling that I ended up volunteering as one of the guests’ dates. Whereas friends and family have always been quick to label me an overly confident extrovert, I spent years putting on a facade to hide a boy riddled with insecurities. Always finding myself the smallest, scrawniest boy in my class quickly wore out what confidence I had. Being t...


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...s to profitability in less than two months. My life has never been a question about whether or not I will succeed—it has been a question about whether or not I will try; a question about whether or not I can face my self-doubt and confront situations my instincts tell me to avoid.

My decision to pursue a career that fulfills my long-standing interest in law is the answer to that question. I find myself thinking about my future with the same spirit I felt that night I took Melissa out on the dance floor—one that is eager and excited at the journey before me. I am not the same pale-faced boy who stood at the end of the line, knees shaking in anxious fear at what might be coming. The moments I shared with Melissa that night helped shatter my debilitating insecurity, and I have since found that my belief in myself is rivaled only by my passion for realizing my potential.

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