Risk: A Junior Self-Portrait Diptych by Eric Liu (2011)
I Am. I am timid but cautious. I wonder what lies beyond what the naked eye can see. I hear a barbarian clamoring for battle and roaring for victory. I see an unfinished bridge. I want to be able to see into the future. I am timid but cautious. I pretend that I can read minds. I feel a welcoming breeze welcome me home. I touch the smooth fabric of success. I worry that I am not aspiring to what I can aspire too. I cry that what I am looking for exists in my past. I am timid but cautious. I understand that the world goes on. I say that initiative is only taken upon completion. I dream of cloud nine, a world of fantasy and bliss. I try to excel in everything. I hope that happiness will find me. I am timid but cautious. My diptych, as it should, manifests my fear of taking risks and therefore my missed attempts to succeed. Emotions I consistently experience include anxiety and a fear of failure because I am timid and overly cautiousI yearn to see what lies beyond the mountain in front of me, but cannot do so unless I brave the perilous peak and reach the other side first. Even when I do summon the courage, I still see failure in my future; when I need to jump across an unfinished bridge, the gap between my side to the other seems far too wide to be conveniently jumpedI sometimes feel that I am still searching for the key that will unlock my heart, and perhaps release my true emotions, the negative and positive all in a jumbleIf I somehow do miraculously manage to take two steps instead of one, I can feel the smooth and cool fabric of success in my hands, just waiting to be worn and usedI dream of a fantasy world where all of my fears evaporate upon entrance, and that eternal relaxation is bountiful; happiness burgeons and the demons hiding in the corners of my mind fade into darkness. Alas, no world exists, but it is, as is conventionally said, 'my only hope.' Somewhere, success lies, waiting to be found, like a prince rescuing a princess and salvaging his 'happily ever after' lifeI strive to take the initiative, but success continues to be elusive; I hope that happiness will find me, for I am timid but cautious.