Advanced Essay #3 by Jacobo Pastor: The Light


The Light is an essay that deals with the many questions that one may encounter while growing up. Who am I? What purpose do I have in this world? Jacobo Pastor describes his personal experience about a time that made a personal experience changed his own identity.

Personally I think that I got to analyze a topic that is very controversial and that no one has really an answer for it, but I would have wished to research a little bit more for others opinions about the topic

Jacobo Pastor

English 3/ Mr. Block

February 27th, 2018

The Light

Flying in a plane wasn’t a new experience for me, but the monstrous sound of the engines didn’t help me feeling at ease. Swallowed by thoughts of fear, the airplane wings did not look safe at all.  The plane that I usually associated with holidays, became an endless tunnel of uncertainty. I did not have a clue of what would come next. I looked over my shoulder and all I could see were my eyes reflected on the window, scared and immature. They were shining as a thousand lamps in a dark room, filled with the anticipation of my journey. As the plane took off, my hands tingled with the idea that a new door was opening. I was leaving my old life and entering the gates to a new world of possibilities. The hope of a new beginning outweighed the pain of leaving my home country. From the airplane, I could see the city lights of Madrid, and felt it was illuminating my new life overseas. I held to that hope like a beacon shining in the dark. Although I wasn’t able to understand the moment, looking back, I know it transformed me and pushed me towards the beginning of my new life. And, together with my new life, it came my new me.

I was conflicted leaving behind the life I knew. My family, my friends, and my culture which created the person I was, were not around anymore. Now I was on my own, without a clear idea where I belonged. It was hard for me to function in a new environment, a country I never visited, and a language I didn’t fully speak. Everyday I looked around on my way to school, and found nothing similar to my home. The diversity of the people, the music I heard on the streets, the slang I didn’t understand. The families I met, the school routines, the food I ate, they all were foreign to me. This was the American culture I grew up seeing on the Tv shows but now, this was my reality. “We know what we are, but not what we may be (Hamlet).” The quote by William Shakespeare crossed my mind repeatedly during those first months. I began to wonder what it meant and if it applied to my life in the US. Who am I, I asked myself. Do I belong here? Is this part of me? Looking back at those moments, I came to the conclusion that everyone knows who they think they are, but they don’t discover their true selves until they experience a life changing event.

A couple months after arriving in the United States, I realized I was changing. As a result of my own process to adapt myself to the reality, my personality was transforming and developing. I grew more confidence and as a result, I took on more leadership roles at school, did more public speaking, and performed some theatre in the classroom. I wasn’t that scared immature young kid anymore. I liked the person I was becoming. It struck me that my old personality was fading, one bit at a time. Those changes took place in a very short time and, they were for good. As Shannon L. Alder, a famous author, stated, “life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of that.” Those changes marked the commencement of my new personality and identity.

Many spend their entire lives searching for their true selves, and many die without finding it. I believe I have been fortunate to find who I am by adapting to my new life. I have discovered the capacity that is in me to learn, enjoy and engage with people and events I would never have experienced back in my country. Although my identity is not complete, I feel my world has become richer and wider, and I have become more open and ready to make the most of what life brings. I now can say that Spain is part of my life and will always be,  but Spain did not shape me but predefined myself. By moving to the United States, and opening myself to growing and changing, my identity has blossomed. Only those who challenge their beliefs and conditions, find out who they truly are. I believe I have.


“A quote by Shannon L. Alder.” Quote by Shannon L. Alder: "Life always begins with one step outside of you...",

Shakespeare, William, et al. Hamlet. Oxford University Press, 2008.