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In retrospect, bouncing out from beneath my comforter as I awoke that balmy seventh of June, I don’t remember feeling so much as a pound of fate’s weight on my scrawny ten-year-old shoulders. Instead, I closed my eyes and breathed in the sweet scent of the first day of summer break and, as was tradition, began in earnest to scheme a summer full of mischief. I allowed my groggy legs to carry me to the top of the stairway where I paused sluggishly to rub my eyes and stretch. As they opened, my eyes locked on a piece of furniture resting near the bottom of the stairway, the very manifestation of my curiosity itself. It felt like more than just an antique wooden cabinet, since for the past ten years of my juvenile life its contents had remained a complete mystery to me. I had been forbidden to open the cabinet since the day I started walking. Having reached an age where my parents had begun to give me certain freedoms, I was quite frustrated at this one restriction. Staring now at the cabinet, I indulged myself guiltily in the fantasy of cracking it open and discovering, once and for all, the forbidden fruit that ripened inside.
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After scurrying gingerly down the stairs, I stooped before the uncharted territory of the cabinet, running my skinny fingers over its rough and intricately carved surface. My heart pounded against my temples as I wrapped my fingers around a door handle, held my breath, and gave a sharp tug. I stifled a sneeze and watched as the dust settled over a beautiful red silk bag perched delicately among a tarnished assortment of antiques.
Captivated by its vibrant red hue, I reached inside the cabinet and wrapped my fingers around the bag’s cool, slippery exterior. Biting my lip reluctantly, I drew it towards me, carefully loosening the threads that held it closed. My hand shook as it slipped between the folds of silk and drew forth a handful of delicate objects that took my breath away. The fragile gloves had been pressed to starchy, unwrinkled perfection. They ranged in both size and color, but I found myself wishing they could speak, for each seemed to have its own story to tell. My eyes locked on a simple but elegant pair with white lace accents, clearly tailored to the long fingers of a woman. The edges of the lace had yellowed with time and the white fabric was thinner than paper, but nonetheless my desire to slip a hand inside was overwhelming, and in no time the beautiful and delicate material had transformed my puerile hands into those of a sophisticated and graceful young woman. I realized in that moment that the delicate gloves must have belonged to my great-great-grandmother, an inspirational figure indeed, who fought for women’s rights in a time of suppression. The feeling of the smooth fabric gripping my skinny fingers urged me to contribute more to the world. Rushing over my enlightened body was a profound sense of responsibility: to the representation of my family, to the preservation of my heritage, but most importantly to myself; it was time to grow up. Taking note of the few centimeters of unfilled finger space that sagged in emptiness off of my fingertips brought me to a second realization: I still had much maturing to do before I could fill the shoes (or rather, gloves) of a true woman.
Eight years later, I sit recounting this tale, realizing how far I have come. From time to time I still open the cabinet and draw out the gloves for inspiration. My fingers now fit snuggly in them, but in my mind I still have growing room and always will. Life is a journey in which opportunities for self-betterment are continuously placed in front of us, and it is my steadfast belief that we must seize these opportunities and strive to make the best of the gifts we are given. We all have our own gloves to fill, and I believe that Trinity University is the right place for me to begin the exciting and rewarding journey of filling mine.
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