This I Believe

Michelle - Murray, Utah
Entered on August 3, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: prejudice

I believe in not always trusting your first impression, because looks can be deceiving.

When I was 19 I met a girl named Brittney. My first impression of her was “This girl is a hussy.” She didn’t dress very modestly, or appropriately. I had heard bad things about her, in generall just didn’t think she was a good person. Shortly after I had initially met her she began working at the same place I did. One day during work we began talking. This is when I realized you really shouldn’t trust your first thoughts about people. After getting to know Brittney better I realized she was one of the kindest people I knew.

When I was 20 I got pregnant. I was single, and my son’s father didn’t think twice about leaving me and my son. During my pregnancy I met people who would automatically assume that because I was a young single mother, my son would be doomed to a life of poverty and misery. Several close friends and family suggested adoption. They all told me that a baby needs two parents, and the child of a single mother wouldn’t have as good a life as a child with both parents. Despite everything I heard I never considered adoption.

Seven weeks after my son was born I began working again. At the time I was working two full time jobs to support us. I eventually found a great place for me and my son to live, and within a few months I worked hard, and saved enough money to allow me to quit my second job.

I am now going to school, and raising my two year old son, Atticus. I have also met a wonderful man who has taken Atticus in as his own son, and will soon be adopting him.

When I chose to keep my baby I made the decision that I would not be like other girls my age who have children. I chose not to spend my time partying, and most likely getting pregnant again. I knew it was my responsibility to raise my son, not my parents, or anyone else.

Making the choices that I have has changed most people’s first impression of me. No one thought I could do this on my own, but I made good choices, and I proved them wrong. A lot of the people that thought I shouldn’t keep Atticus have now told me that they are proud of how well this situation has turned out for me.

I have been on both sides of this situation, and realize how much better it feels not to judge others or be judged. So from now on when I see that girl that dresses too risqué, that man on the street dressed too shabby, or that young pregnant girl, I will remind myself that how a person looks doesn’t define who they are inside. Atticus and I are proof of that.