It was just past ten o’clock and the icy blades of grass, preemptively freezing for next morning’s dew, brushed against my Achilles tendon, sending shivers down my spine. I began to focus the rusty telescope into the vast night sky, looking past the mammoth trees and water towers that obstructed the moonlit view. As the lens began to clear, I focused my attention on the sea of stars above me. Like my ancestors before me, I began to see the loose shapes of constellations.
Suddenly, one lonesome star was connected to another, then another, until the Jackson Pollock sky was constructed into the Greek hero Orion. With more searching, Cassiopeia appeared, Canis Major at her side. I stood mounted at my telescope, giving the stars my undivided attention.
With one eye closed and the other eye keenly searching for the brightest stars in the sky, I began to imagine what would happen if I created my own constellation. With the countless amount splattered upon the unpolluted sky, I began to draw.
I knew the Greeks wouldn’t mind if I borrowed a few of their heavenly bodies for my own constellation… right? I swerved the rusty telescope left and right, picking out only the brightest stars to be a part of my collection. Before I knew it, an hour had gone by, and my frantic search for the most elite of stars had brought me to a lull. I had gotten lost in my quest of creating the best constellation with only the brightest stars, that I forgot what truly made a constellation so special.
Each of its aspects is important and plays a key role in what makes the constellation unique. Each star in a constellation holds a greater purpose and was not put there by accident. Lacrosse was one of my stars. I had played for 10 years, and with each passing game, I slowly lost interest. Somewhere between the countless hours practicing on the turf and driving to games counties away, I stopped loving the game. Going against my previous beliefs, I decided to let one of my stars go. It no longer fit within the confines of my constellation. With this newfound freedom, I began to explore the world around me. I knew I wanted to try something I hadn’t before. In an attempt to broaden my horizons, I joined my high school’s debate club freshman year. I quickly became fascinated with public speaking and joined a supportive family. The time I was now able to devote to Debate Club had earned me the role of president during my sophomore year.
This is a role with which I carried all the way to senior year. The joy I no longer felt in lacrosse was rekindled in my passion for debate. Nowadays, I make sure I truly enjoy what I participate in before I make a commitment. Glimmering stars mark the outline of my constellation, each one holding its unique place in my life. The stars that no longer make up my constellation still exist, but when I let them go, that’s when they no longer mattered. The winter wind, having finally numbed my fingers and toes, sent me a cue that my time in January’s late night was coming to a close. As I began to disassemble my rusty telescope, I took one last look at the boundless night sky above me. Knowing each star has its own purpose brings me solace. Like each star in Orion’s belt, each star in my constellation holds a purpose. Each star represents an important piece to the whole constellation.