Reflections within the Labyrinth

by David Paulino

As I sit and reflect on how time passes by so quickly. Throughout this year, I learned that I must decide on one specific goal in order to escape the labyrinth. This labyrinth is the labyrinth of solitude influenced after reading Octavio Paz’s Labyrinth of Solitude. The labyrinth serves as a means for my continued struggle of finding myself and it reflects my indecisiveness.

I ponder about what I have learned about myself, and I can say that I learned that I lack many hard skills that do not make me as marketable or as beneficial to any company or startup. I interned with a Startup during the summer and I was very excited to catch a glimpse of the “real world”.  There I only caught a reflection of my flaws.

As the internship was ending I found myself less motivated to go because I knew that I would not be contributing to any project. Nor did I sincerely believe in their vision. I felt that I was wasting their time and mines as well, before the internship ended I left and said my farewells.

This experience taught me many things, one is that if I do not believe in the vision of a company, then I will not be as productive and enthusiastic to work for said company. Another is that my decisions are not long term, they tend to be sporadic and reactionary, and my decisions are not thought out because they appear out of a whim. Lastly, it taught me that sometimes we just have to take a risk when it comes to developing ourselves. In thinking this I learned that I am in no way shape or form a risk taker. I think too much on the possibility of it failing and that I have to start from square one that I do not end up moving at all.

I live in my head way too much that by the time I notice the day is almost ending and I put everything I had to do today for tomorrow and then the cycle continues. While reading one of Alfonso Sastre’s essay one phrase stood out and that I will remember to this day, “Those that change the world are the ones that are truly enraged by it” not a day goes by when I do not think on that phrase and I cannot help but wonder, when am I going to be enraged by my state of stagnation? When will this state of complacency go away? Fear of failure is what has frozen me but in not doing anything, I have already failed.

I write this article as a form of a therapy which was what writing became for me, but I found that I am writing less and less which I know is a problem. This article is for me and for any young person that may feel the same way I do. I know is not much of a good advice because there is no answer, but merely that we ourselves are the answer to our problem. We ourselves have created this labyrinth and we ourselves will destroy it.

My name is David Alfredo Paulino. I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a international studies major with a concentration in Global Political Systems and my minors are Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and Asia and the Middle East. I was born in Manhattan, NYC, but I currently live in the Bronx with my Mother, little sister, and Stepfather. Although I was born here, most of my fondest memories come from my frequent visits to the Dominican Republic, and always being there. I even stayed there for a year. Due to my constant going back and forth, I grew to love the atmosphere there and sometimes I yearn for it more than the actual city.