“This is crap,” says a friend sitting next to me at The Commons (formally known and preferred as the “The Pit”), as he reads his fortune from the Panda Express. I began to reminisce about a fortune cookie from the past…
Two years ago, during a time when I was stressing over college applications, I got a fortune that read, “Music will play an important role in your life.” “What is this supposed to mean?” I muttered to myself as I threw the slip of paper into the trash. For a reasons I do not remember, that fortune evoked various emotions in me. When us songwriters experience an emotion that we want to portray, we tend to write songs before talking with our close friends. So, from dinnertime to sunrise, I sat on my bed and played guitar as I wrote a song. Maybe the note in the fortune cookie was actually trying to tell me something, I thought. I rushed to the kitchen and retrieved the note from the trash. I decided maybe it was worth keeping, so I taped it to my wall. I somehow managed to stay inspired for the rest of that month, which allowed me to write five more songs. I even decided to create an album, which I then sent to schools along with my application. Then I sat, waited and hoped for the best.
We all remember (or for those of you soon to find out) the last week of March and the first week of April – you receive admission letters from colleges, hooray! If you’re like everyone else in Rochester, you know what it feels like to be denied from your favorite schools A through C. My situation was more like A through Y. The voice inside my head said, “No way in hell are you getting in.” So you know what that meant? Yep, more song writing! My last letter came on the very last day of that week, and it just so happened to be from Rochester. I read the letter and, I must say, I shed some man tears as I read their words. They were impressed by my passion for music and mentioned how they enjoyed listening to my album. Two years later, I look at the fortune taped on my bedroom wall, and to this day I still shed some man tears. No, I’m kidding, I did not cry. But I’m still inspired.
So, what’s the moral of this story? Life is a game. Make it fun, make it cheesy. It’s about how you choose to interpret the situation. I could have easily read the fortune, indefinitely convinced myself, “this is crap,” and throw it away. Then how would have my life been different? Open yourself up for interpretation, it’s fun. I thank the fortune cookie that I’m currently attending this amazing school that is the University of Rochester.