Joshua Carroll- Modern Age ‘Good Will Hunting’
Drive is everything. If you don’t have the drive in you to do something, you never will be able to do it. Or you might do it, but it would be completely half-hearted. Joshua Carroll, an army veteran thought otherwise.
He wanted to make something out of his life after leaving the army- and from the myriad of options available to him, he chose trigonometry. The man’s story is inspiring to say the least. He joined the army in the wake of 9/11 because he wanted to do something for his country. But as it goes with most veterans who are deployed in the Middle East, he came back with PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a distinct lack of purpose.
The Rebirth of Joshua Carroll
Life amidst continuous bombarding and shelling isn’t a life that most would crave for, once they have been in it. Joshua Carroll wasn’t any different. He hated that life and wanted something– anything that would get him out of the hell-hole he had found himself in. And while that hell-hole might not be physically destructing, it was messing with his mental faculties. He got a job as a janitor at a local school but that obviously wasn’t what he wanted from life. This was until he flipped through the pages of a Stephen Hawking book, and had an epiphany.
The epiphany, that he wanted to go back to his childhood, and be what he had then planned- a physicist. Now, Big Bang Theory fans would understand that however silly it appears in the show, being a physicist could possibly be one of the toughest careers to choose. At the least, it required years and years of rigorous practice and entry in an Ivy League college. Joshua Carroll had neither. And yet, he decided to test fate by asking the admissions committee at Radford University to let him at least go ahead with the Physics program, provided he learned advanced Trigonometry in three weeks.
For anyone else, and for him too, it was definitely a gargantuan task. But Joshua Carroll didn’t give up. He went on YouTube and began the Sisyphian journey. It ultimately culminated in him getting through the entrance test, graduating as one of the best students in the class, and an entry into the life of a physicist. How did that happen, one might wonder, and rightly so. How could someone, who had been in the army have such a major career shift and yet not fail? The answer lies before you- he had the zeal. The zeal to be someone who wouldn’t break down just because time was running out. Someone, who would know that their life, their mental health depended on it. Joshua Carroll knew that he might not know when his next meal would be if he didn’t get through this. And trust us, if it is your survival on the line, people tend to succeed through Herculean tasks- an entrance test is rather a piece of cake.
Joshua Carroll and Will
You wouldn’t be wrong if you mistook this for a movie, for it closely resonates with Good Will Hunting, where Matt Damon plays the role of a brilliant janitor who has a mind metaphorically built for solving complex problems. But there are a few differences- Joshua Carroll’s success story isn’t an ingrained talent, or being a prodigy- it was sheer hard work. He didn’t believe in luck, he wanted to create his own. Unlike Matt Damon’s Will, he wasn’t unwilling to put in the troubles that were required by him to be in that position. All Will and Joshua have in common, is that they were both janitors, to begin with.
Life, as we know is full of surprises. You never really know what would happen in the next moment, as you try to understand the present. But this doesn’t mean that you would let go of any opportunities that might take you out of the life you have for yourself now. Joshua Carroll didn’t like where he stood. He felt empty, void of any happiness or peace in his life. He felt bedraggled, the nightmares of the past haunted him. As it goes with several veterans suffering from PTSD, he wasn’t at all in the best shape of his life.
Interestingly, and unfortunately so, the war between ministers and powerful men is always fought by sons, fathers, brothers, and lovers. Amidst this depression that he was sinking into, it was extremely necessary for him to find some way out of it. Some way, where he would love what he was doing, and not feel the past encroaching up along with the rest of his problems.
Life had closed many a door on his face, but it made sure to open the one Joshua Carroll was fated to be in.