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Swimming through
life's struggles

Posted December 2, 2005

Yelena Ovcharenko
LV Life Editor

With every splash the water descends in a dancing rhythm as the waves ripple out to every corner.
Vibrant rays glisten on its surface providing a delightful abundance of light and warmth. My hands race through the endless amount of water as I swim, and it seems that life has finally reached peace and harmony.
Until I crash into a concrete slab.

Realizing that I now face an unanticipated increase of difficulty, I attempt to surpass the obstacle and continue my struggle through the impenetrable wall. I persist in fighting relentlessly as my strength recedes, and I soon find my weary body sinking. A feeling of defeat and disappointment overwhelms me as I touch the bottom. Everything seems worthless and lost in the unexpected twist of circumstances.

I envision life as an enormous sea of water that all of us swim through, each having a unique experience. But sometimes it feels like I am trapped, unable to get out and continue my progress.

It seems that all of life’s difficulties and trials have transformed the water
that I was once cheerfully treading into a rigid block of cement. It is as if I am swimming through pavement in life’s journey without the hope of getting across and past my troubles.

But a silver lining peers through the clouds as an unexpected hand reaches out and gently lifts me to the surface.

A sense of gratitude and surprise overcomes me as the identity of my savior is revealed: a friend who I never expected to find standing by my side reassures me and urges me to continue my journey. I realize that I am unable to go further alone and embrace the support of a close friend.

One of these concrete walls appeared to be choosing my future career. As odd as it seems, going into journalism was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.

The increasing rate of failure and the probability of never being more than a police beat reporter in a tiny town in Nebraska constantly hang over my head.

What if my destiny in life was to be an accountant, engineer, doctor, cook or lawyer, not a journalist?

Or worst yet, what if I never measured up to the expectations of others?
The possibilities seemed endless and time reminded me that a choice had to be made with every tick of the minute hand.

Finally, with the affirmation and encouragement of my older brother, Tim, and my best friend, Veronica, I decided to plunge into this career.

This is definitely a decision that I couldn’t have made without the support of others.

So far, I have had few regrets even though at times it still feels like I have no clue what I’m doing.

With a revived hope that anticipates the best for the future, a greater supply of faith and the support of others I am able to drill my way through the pavement. I continue my swim keeping my head erect and looking for the best during troubling moments.

As Oscar Wilde said, “All of us are in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Even though at times it seems unbelievably hard to look for the best in certain circumstances, those who persevere and keep their friends near seem to enjoy life the most, because then all things become possible.

Yelena Ovcharenko, a junior journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at yovcharenko@ulv.edu.