Who am I?

A portrait of the reporter, Noel Mohamed

Reporter Noel Mohamed poses for her staff portrait in the photo studio.

Our world has changed in a short period of time. One day we are going to school, hugging our teammates after a good play and playing Uno in French class. The next day we are at home in a national lockdown. We had months to contemplate life and all of its challenges and I asked myself many questions.

Who am I?

Who do I want to be?

What do I want to do with my life?

I mean we only have one life to live, so why not do what we want?

I want to go feel the snow and the icy waters of the Transantarctic Mountain. Close your eyes and picture yourself surrounded by white snow, you start breathing in the crisp air and look around to find the most beautiful snow-covered mountains. Cave diving in the dark blue waters of Somalia. Imagine you dive in and are immersed in the warm blue water, you swim and find the most beautiful creatures, and begin to feel at peace. Envision yourself in Milan sipping your coffee, reading a good book, and then going back home to your view of the Duomo di Milano.

Then reality sets in — work and money. As teenagers, we are urged to know what we want to do with our lives when we finish high school, but how am I suppose to know what I want to do without knowing who I am?

Over quarantine, I explored many different things. I rekindled my love for art, I learned to play the ukulele and I baked a lot. Each of those activities was fun, but it didn’t make me feel like this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

One day I was frustrated and I decided to go for a bike ride, and it was like I was riding away from life. I would go and ride far away and just be. I wouldn’t think about the future or school. I would think about myself and my happiness. While on those rides, as weird as this may sound, I would just talk, and I was alone, but it felt good to just say how I felt.

The birds were chirping as if they were in a choir and the water of the nearby creek crashed against the rocks so loudly I had to stop and look. The flowers had bloomed and the clouds started to fade away, then came the next day.

I continued my rides and runs and I found something that truly made me happy: the outdoors. Trees and creeks and I would see those beautiful pieces of nature and then make them into art pieces.

The scent of the flowers, buzzing bees and the laughs of the children would encompass me.
I wanted to capture the sun shining through the dense forest, the flying bees, and children playing at the park. Whether it was a photo or a painting it made me feel the happiest I had felt in days.

Don’t get me wrong I still have absolutely no clue what I am going to do with my life. I still don’t know exactly who I am, because we are all constantly evolving and that’s okay. You don’t have to know who you are by eighteen or by your first day of college because if you don’t like your major you can change it.

Take a deep breath in and out. Look around you, what do you see? Close your eyes, take another deep breath, and imagine what you want your life to look like. You see that dream — go after it.