The symbol of rebirth and renewal that has endured for countless generations is the phoenix. This bird symbolizing resurrection would, in my opinion, be the ideal symbol for me. Over my years as a youth, I have come to terms with innumerable hardships that have nearly prevented–and in some cases completely prevented–me from achieving my goals at the time. For example, some four years ago, my parents separated. This was a catastrophic event in my young life and reduced me to a bitter, cynical sadist. I was constantly angry at the world, speaking without due respect to anyone, stealing, and verbally abusing others in other to bolster my shrinking self-esteem. My best friend Chris pointed this out to me and noted that I needed some sort of change, as he was going through a similar ordeal. I then pledged to myself that before high school was over, I would become a better all-around person. In order to accomplish this arduous task, I devoted myself to achieving some sort of spiritual and intellectual growth. I began to study modern philosophy, and I began reading the satirical works of George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, not to mention the nonfiction publications of Michio Kaku (author of Visions and Hyperspace) and Esther Dyson (Release 2.1). My friends will vouch that I was not the most pleasant person to be around, but all that changed when I met my lovely girlfriend of sixteen months, Jana. She was probably the most influential person in my rebirth, lifting my spirits when I was down and giving me someone to fight for other than myself. Finally, during the past few months, I have transcended to a new state of being. I am much friendlier, happier, and in a more relaxed and open state of mind. It was a long process to get here, but I consider myself a better person now than I ever was. I have given up theft, and I have started to treat others with the respect they deserve. I have defined a new set of moral codes for myself, but I still find satisfaction in reading about the folly of modern society. For this reason, I choose the phoenix to be the symbol that represents my life.