My name is Monica Gray and I am a third year English Major. Before I came to UCLA, I used to be afraid of change, of growing up and of breaking traditions- and in some ways I still am. However, the last two years have influenced me to view each day as a new beginning, and to welcome new things in my life as they come- no sooner, no later.
This picture is the first one I took with my webcam when I moved into my first apartment in West wood and after my boyfriend and I broke up. Though both experiences were intimidating emotionally and forced me to look at myself in a new light, I see that light in this picture and feel a certain freedom with the change. This year is going to be one of new beginnings and experiences- which leads me to explain my background.
Not only do daffodils bloom in the early spring (which is when I was born), but they also symbolize honesty, forgiveness, and new beginnings- which I am reminded of after each winter when the daffodils grow. The yellow in the flower is often associated with energy and vitality- both qualities I have been told I have in abundance. But most of all, the yellow daffodil makes me smile out of its simple beauty: something to be seen in everyone.
I chose the word "enlightenment" simply because there is no other word that means more to me at this time in my life. I have been learning so much recently about myself, the ones I love, and the world at large- and that is what is most important to me. Enlightenment could be taken to the extremes of a Buddhist monk or simply achieved through listening with an open mind; I believe life is a journey towards enlightenment, and you either learn a lot or a little, fast or slow, and most often "the hard way".