Billy Curtis, Sex Columnist

In life we are constantly challenged — challenged to do the right thing, to keep moving forward, to continue to better ourselves. Yet through all of this, we remain steadfast, we remain adamant and we remain committed to our goals as well as to ourselves.

We remain committed to the truth, our truth, whatever that may be. When most people think of the word commitment, they think marriage, but we surround ourselves with commitment every day.

A driving force of determination and persistence that perpetuates the dilapidation of ignorance with every passing day, our level of commitment is essentially what shapes who we become, or more importantly, who we wish to become. And one of the best ways to better ourselves is through education.

This semester didn’t seem very promising for the classes I selected, and the fact that this is my last full semester only added to my trepidation towards putting in as much effort as I should — God love senioritis.

There was one professor in particular that made me doubt I would learn anything important in his class. Last
night, he proved me wrong and put me in my place.

After debating whether I should attend the last hour and a half of my creative nonfiction class, this professor managed to blow my mind, and relinquish years of ignorant hatred I had for the author Ernest Hemingway.

He explained that most people didn’t understand the many works of Hemingway because they didn’t know he had an extensive background in the European art movements like cubism and pointillism that majorly influenced his works. The moment he said this, it was as though a curtain had been lifted from my eyes, and I could finally see what had kept me from loving such a insightful author for over 10 years.

If I had never been as committed to my education and growth and had skipped this class, I would have never learned that I really loved an author I had hated for my own ignorance. This professor’s level of commitment to his students is one of the many reasons I decided I wanted to learn more about everything. In just one hour, this man managed to completely change my perspective on two items: Hemingway, and the belief that you can be wrong about a professor. I can certainly say that it was one of the most profound moments of my college career.

After this experience, I started thinking about not just my level of commitment to my education, but my dedication to the pursuit of finding a genuine person in this world to be happy with. After yet another failed relationship, and a long history of repeated offenses against my commitment, I was still willing to learn from my mistakes and continue to go out and search for a person to truly make me happy.

Going out on blind dates and taking every opportunity to meet someone new was accompanied with the learned knowledge of either a quality I desired in a future partner, or one that would make me head for the mountains faster than the gold rushers of the 1800s.

Then there is the type of commitment that you are forced into, the kind that makes you either break, or shows you your true strength in times of great strife. If my name still stands as the gay Carrie Bradshaw, then one of my best friends of over nine years would definitely be my Miranda. So we will just refer to her that way. Miranda and I had been through way too much together; crazy nights of drunken crying on the bathroom floor during parties, years of important memories long forgotten but still left a prominent imprint on each other’s hearts.

We were so inseparable that even my father believed that we were destined to marry each other and have a tumultuous love affair until our deathbeds. While my father’s premonition about our imminent marriage was just as absurd as the 10-foot snowdrifts currently overtaking our parking lots, I loved her as though she were my own family. When phone calls became scarce, I decided to contact her through Facebook and received a phone call from her in return later that evening.

After little delay, with courage and strength in her tone, she informed me that she had been diagnosed with cancer, an aggressive form that had already metastasized in her lungs. My concern was immediately elevated, despite my reaction and Miranda’s full understanding of the severity of this situation. She remained committed to the belief that she was going to get better and displayed a strength rarely seen , but one that retains a blow more forceful than one from Arnold Schwarzenegger to the face. Her courage and optimism towards her disease made me realize how truly strong she is, not to mention how much she meant to me. Her level of commitment was a powerful force to be reckoned with.

These challenges, these tests of faith and stature, are the moments that bring us closer to accepting the fact that life is full of choices. Your level of commitment in everything you do will decide the outcome and your fate.

No matter what, remember that your mind can always grow, that your heart can always heal and that the will to survive can be the most important commitment you will ever have. We create guidelines that map out all of the places and things we wish to see and do in our lives, and although sometimes life alters these plans without our acknowledgement or permission, with courage and determination, the commitments we wish to make in this world can become reality.