This I Believe

Abby - Indianola, Iowa
Entered on September 13, 2006

I believe I am not invincible. As a child, I was afraid of nothing, but one moment in my life showed me that I too am human. I learned life is fragile, and I need to take care of it.

When I was younger, I was known as the “monkey” in my neighborhood. If my mother could not find me, she would have to look in all the trees in our yard and our neighbors’ yards. I loved to climb to the top of trees and hide from everything.

I was always the kid in school who would accomplish the biggest dares. No one could dare me anything I wouldn’t do. I figured why not – nothing could really hurt me, could it? I never had a broken bone, stitches, or even been sick enough to go to the hospital.

Well, I believed I was invincible until I was 14.

I was driving to school on my permit one morning. I was running very late, so I decided to take the gravel roads. There would be no cops, and I could drive as fast as I wanted. Nothing could happen to me because I was an “experienced” driver, and I could handle the gravel – so I believed.

Next thing I know, I was in an emergency room, and my coat was being cut off me. The gravel won. I was not as invincible as I had once believed. Six years later, I still cannot use my right arm. I am not the same person I used to be.

Since my accident, many things have showed me this same lesson. Through the rest of my high school career, I was no longer able to participate in sports. I learned to become part of the team in a different way by becoming a manager.

I have struggled adapting to many things in my life, but have eventually found a way to do just about anything. Cooking, doing my hair, writing with my left hand, and relearning to climb those same trees have been a few of my biggest struggles. I still get frustrated at times, but friends, family, and even strangers are always willing to help.

Many people my age have not come to the same belief that I have in that they too are not invincible. I have a reminder close to me everyday that keeps me believing. It was a hard and painful lesson to learn, but I am glad I now know and believe I am not invincible.