This I Believe

Jordan - Delmont, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that, no matter how bad life is for me, I would not trade my experiences for anything. During my childhood, I suppose I was content with my life, about as content as a young child can be. I had two close friends (they were brothers) during this part of my life. Even when they moved away, our families kept in touch, & we would visit each other. This continued for about seven years or so.

That led to the glorious teenage years. Our schedules became more complex as extracurricular activities required more investment of time, meaning that the visits became less frequent. Eventually we stopped seeing them.

Of course, this was devastating for me. After failing to receive any replies to letters, I internalized my pain, and I became depressed.

My depression got so serious that it caused other problems to occur, namely weight issues. During this time I was on the heavy side, so I made an effort to lose some pounds. Over a period of three years this became my obsession. Eventually, during my senior year of high school, I needed to seek outside treatment because of the severity of my situation.

To this day, I still struggle with my feelings and events from my past. However, no matter how much pain I have suffered, whether it is from this experience or other situations, I would not trade any of the things that have happened to me.

Before this point in my life, I used to live a life of regret, wishing I could do something different from what had happened my past. I realize, though, that if I were to change my experiences, I wouldn’t be the same as I am today. Even if I could prevent becoming depressed, I wouldn’t do it. I have learned to be more compassionate to others and be more aware of others’ feelings. It’s so easy to get stuck in the past, and I still dwell on it too much.

So where does that leave me? It is too late to go back and change what has occurred, even if I wanted to. Am I defined by my past experiences? Before, and sometimes now, I would say yes. I like to think, though, that a person isn’t limited by his or her past. I had mental issues that still affect me today; however, I am a person who is cared for and cares for others. Events do not define a person. Rather, it is the actions and thoughts that the person possesses which create each of us. This I believe.