I believe in choices. In every situation of life I have a choice. I may not always see it, but I do. I’ve grown up this world, and being in it, I’ve had the choice to be a good son, a smart person, and a friendly individual. The case, though, is that those are my choices. There are so many people in this world that make different choices. They choose to be teachers, parents, and many times, bad people. The world is full of bad choices that make people that way. Yet, I always seem to hear that if I never make mistakes then I never learn. Well, I’ve made my own mistakes, but I’ve also learned that the choices of others have always extremely influenced me.
When I was born my parents were still in high school. I was the result of my mom being pregnant at 18. I know she was scared like anyone would be but she understood the choice she had made and had me. The choices she made are what are allowing me to write this, and it seems that my life was a lot of times filled with choices that were not mine.
For instance, at three-years old, my mother wanted to leave East Los Angeles. She wanted to leave the house of my dad’s parents and create a life of her own. Most of all she wanted my dad to marry her. That never happened, and I moved to Chino with my mom’s family and started my life there. I remember never questioning her decision but at that age what choice did I have?
From that point on, I gradually made more choices independently. That was my life for me and it led to a choice I made before I was in 7th grade. During my elementary school years I was made fun of for being fat. I was the smartest kid of my class, but my intelligence never gave me respect. Ultimately I choose to loose weight to both change myself and improve my health, and maybe even hope for a different way of living. It was for an entire summer, then, that I walked and in the end, it worked. That decision I made for myself, forever changed my life. Yet I myself still continue to change my life, even when I don’t notice.
My mom got married recently and I chose to stay in Chino, instead of moving to Fontana, to keep my life full of the friends and memories that have stayed with me. I love my mom but she moved on with her life, marrying a man who was not my father, and much later on giving me my only sibling. My brother Marcus. My mother’s life is always welcome to me, but I choose to stay where I am because for 13 going on 14 years, I’ve lived here, in Chino. It’s where school is, friends are, and where I feel at home, even if it’s not much. My family should be my home, but it’s not that simple. I see my father on the weekends and my mother a lot of times and I hate that it’s like that. So, what keeps me going is the faith I have in myself and faith in what I’m doing, because my heart knows where it belongs. It’s the choices that I make that render me to regret and the choices I make that allow me to influence others. Though, most importantly, it’s the desires I have that make my choices. In my not so perfect world I know what I want, and out of that fact, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, all the time, when it gets too dark.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.