Bowl of Rice

Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

Peering around the corner, I scouted the room, assuring myself that no one stood guard over the treasure. After a few tense seconds, I slowly crept into the kitchen, constantly glancing over my shoulder should the unspeakable happen: someone discovering and apprehending me. I shuddered, trying to disregard the impulse to flee, as I almost tripped over my target. The black cylindrical container that my mother had so carefully kept out of my grasp stood on the floor within reaching distance. “At last!”, I cried to myself as I speculated what kinds of hidden riches lay within the locked box that had eluded my small, chubby hands for so long. Quickly seizing the handle of the mysterious cylinder, I pulled as hard as my small body could; seconds later, I fell to the ground on my bottom. Swallowing my desire to cry out in pain, I rolled over to my side and pushed off the ground to stand. Refusing defeat, I took hold of the handle once again. This time, I noticed a small black button on top of the handle. With a smug grin on my face, I pressed the button and heaved; this time, the lid easily swung open. I plunged my hand into the awaiting treasure: freshly cooked rice.

Ever since I could observe and discover the world around me, I have tried to experiment with anything and everything. From learning mathematical operations at the age of four to solving puzzles and riddles with my dad and even to modifying and improving (or breaking) Nerf blasters, I have always been fascinated by enigmas. I hate unresolved questions. Growing up, I could never escape the fact that I was different from the other kids. Why did all my friends want the new action figure when it literally had the same gears and parts as all the other toys, just with a different paint job? Taking the toy apart to figure out the different parts seemed the same. Why do I need to spin the basketball when I shoot it? I spent more time pondering that question than I did practicing. How could I build my sand castle in a better way so that the tide would not engulf it? I invented multiple designs composed of different tiers of trenches and dikes, forcing my younger siblings to construct my fortresses. As you could probably guess, I did not have many friends.

Fast forward to high school. Still unafraid to take risks to satisfy my curiosity, I enjoy experimenting with different hobbies or untried activities, focusing more about the journey and lessons learned than the actual end result. My unhampered drive has led me to explore new tasks: talking with acquaintances and meeting new people in the cafeteria rather than eating with my friends, teaching myself magic tricks, and even drinking a soufflé cup of soy sauce just to see how awful it tastes. As I experimented more with the world around me, I came to enjoy the side lessons and processes more than the direct consequences. Having the social skills to interact with unfamiliar classmates became more important than the friends I made. Knowing to think before rashly acting became more important than knowing that drinking soy sauce plain sucks. Most importantly, learning to love and embrace each and every experience, no matter how challenging, outweighs the original intentions.

As my hand pulled the sticky, white rice from the cooker, I rejoiced at what I had discovered. While I stuffed my mouth, I unfortunately heard sounds of laughter. I glanced up to see my worst fear come true: my mom had walked in on my heist. I did not understand. I had discovered what lay within this magical container and had managed to unlock the treasure. What was the point of punishment when I was just curious? Nevertheless, from this point on, I had become an explorer of different talents, a conquistador of school subjects, a voyager of unexplored experiences.

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