This I Believe

Chris - Granger, Indiana
Entered on June 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

Ignorance or Inability?

I believe that no one truly knows what they have until it’s gone. It could just be a common ignorance that exists in all of us, but I think it is a common inability to grasp on to the good things in life and fully enjoy them. The fast pace of life these days certainly has a negative impact, but I believe that no matter how hard people try, there will always be regrets and a longing for the moments of the past that were so easily forgotten.

I am a high school senior who is about to finish primary education and begin college in the fall. In August I will be off to Atlanta, Georgia, leaving most of my friends who will be staying in the state of Indiana. I am aware that I will not see my current friends very much after I leave, so I try and prepare myself and enjoy the last few months. Of course, leaving people and places behind is nothing new to me; I have attended four different high schools in the past four years and I have yet to leave a group of friends with the feeling that I had appreciated every moment we spent together. None of the moves were too unexpected; I was given a sufficient amount of time to adjust to my upcoming situation and prepare accordingly. However, knowing of the eventual split between my friends and me did not help. Each time I arrived in a new place I could not stop myself from thinking back to the moments I spent with my old friends, wondering how such common occurrences of the past could suddenly disappear for good. I would say to myself, “If only I could go back in time, I would cherish every second with the people I knew, and that way I wouldn’t have any regrets.” I know, however, that my plan for the past never would have taken place. Sure, I might have skipped a tennis practice or two so I could hang out with the friends I would soon be leaving behind, but my goal would not have been completed. I would have left my home in Georgia, bound for northern Indiana, having the same terrible feeling of loneliness that I had before.

I am under the impression that there are just too many things taking place at any one time for us to truly appreciate the moments we want to remember. What confuses and angers me to no end is the fact that I have not changed my approach to such situations. I have met many new people in the two years I have lived in northern Indiana, but deep inside me I know that I have failed in my attempt to take advantage of my previous knowledge. After moving to Indiana and experiencing a longing for the comfortable and familiar situation that was in Georgia, I knew that I did not want to feel that way again. However, this knowledge that resulted from my experiences did not cover my weakness, the same weakness that I believe everyone has. I knew that leaving my friends in Indiana was a very real possibility, but my efforts to combat such a feeling of regret from reoccurring have fallen short. I am therefore convinced that there was nothing I could have done or can do for the next few months that can allow me to leave Indiana without disappointment. It has become a common saying that “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” and I hope that everyone realizes just how true that statement really is.