This I Believe

Courtney - Newton, New Jersey
Entered on April 19, 2006

“We’re moving to New Jersey.” It was 11 years ago that my mom said this to me and my older sister. I lived in the same house in St. Petersburg, Florida for my entire life, and was lucky to be surrounded by all of my friends and loved ones. But everything seemed to be changing; and changing quickly at that. My mom had remarried and she and my new stepfather decided to move us up north. This was a lot for a kid to take in; a new dad, a new house, basically a whole new life.

It took a couple years to comprehend that moving really wasn’t the worst thing that could have ever happened to me. I now realize and believe that everything happens for a reason. All events, both tragic and joyous, are unavoidable and should be viewed as a mere stepping stone on the path of life. It seems that people find it easier to move past the happier events and dwell on times of sorrow. While I don’t disagree with needing time to mourn a loss, I do think that every death, every illness, everything bad occurs in our lives in order to help us grow and to appreciate the life we have.

Looking back on my own life, I realize how every event has affected me and made me into the person I am today. If my mom hadn’t remarried, I wouldn’t have a wonderful and loving stepfather in my life. Also, if my we hadn’t moved to New Jersey, I would never have come to Penn State, and I would have missed out on having so many great times and making some amazing friends.

So even though I have suffered many tragic events in my life, I don’t let them distract me from all the good things that I do have. As a matter of fact, just recently I went out for one of my favorite sushi hand rolls with my friends. When the meal ended, our waiter handed everyone a fortune cookie. I know it wasn’t a coincidence that my cookie contained the words that I live my life by. Therefore, I agree with my fortune cookie in saying, “You can only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”