I am answering "Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story."
Please let me know your thoughts on content and any grammatical corrections you may have.
As a child my first favorite big word was paradox. The word, just like the definition, offered both understanding and confusion. To me paradox represents life. In life we seek truth and meaning. Whether one is an adult seeking purpose or a young child continuously asking "why," I think we need to realize that the truths we seek are not "true" at all that someone somewhere made them up. However, day in and day out we want information. I cannot say that I am any different, I, too, yearn for answers.
I wonder if ignorance is really bliss? All everyone is searching for in life is happiness. Ask the CEO of a fortune 500 company, or the homeless man across the street smoking crack. It does not matter what form the happiness takes, money, love, objects, or knowledge. Everything we do is driven by the hope that it will help us to attain happiness. It's what keeps us going, keeps us motivated. But really, it is all in our head. So how do we self attain happiness without physically attaining anything? Does knowledge make us happy? I believe that ignorant knowledge, the kind that tells us answers does, but then if we really know things we realize that these "answers" do not exist, instead they too are created.
As I child I was blissful--ignorant--just like many youth, though I did not have much. I did not have a white picket fence, or a home with two parents; instead I had people. The day my mother and I left Germany was the day I became the child of a single mother. From that moment on, we spent most of my childhood moving from place to place, staying with friends and family because we had no home of our own; we were nomads. Some may view this as sad or limiting to have only one parent but, that is not how I see it. I was not just raised by my mother I was raised by the communities and cultures that surrounded me. Whether I was living homeless in Hawaii spending my days playing on the beach, picking fresh mangos from trees - where at night we listened to the waves as we slept on the beach, or the time we spent living with the Hare Krishnas; I got to experience new cultures, new people, and new places.
Despite the adversity and instability we faced, it was never a disabling experience. I was ignorant yet full of bliss. The bliss came from the people with whom I had formed bonds and from the communities and cultures around me. I was ignorant. My happiness was still not self-attained; instead it had been illuminated by others. I craved people as a source of happiness. Two of my greatest sources of happiness were my grandparents-my best friends and biggest supporters. They kept me grounded, stable. Every vacation was spent with them at their home in New Jersey. During the summer, following my freshman year, my grandfather died. A year later, during the very end of my sophomore year, my grandmother passed away of cancer too. As they passed away so did my bliss. I could cope with losing a house, moving to a new neighborhood, city, state, or country, but I was no expert at losing people.
As I sit here contemplating life and it's meaning, I realize bliss does not have to come from not "knowing" that it can be self-attained. Just like answers, you must use your imagination to create it. I realize that as we grow older we attain more crafted knowledge and this can be our source of bliss. In this paradox we call life I seek to expand my knowledge, imagination, creativity, perspective, and of course, my pursuit of bliss.