This I Believe

Tyler - Fairfield, California
Entered on September 14, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope

I have hope

This essay is an assignment from my English Professor. When he told the class to write about what we believed, I thought, “This is going to be easy, I know exactly what I believe in.” Five minutes into the assignment at home, I was at a loss. I had no idea what I believed in. That was because I had no beliefs as a child.

I grew up as a pessimistic person in a pessimistic household. All my life I have heard little positive about the world, only, “Another man shot and killed in apparent drive by,” or “Young girl missing, feared dead.” My family was not religious; we never went to church on a regular basis, or even said grace at the dinner table. So, I did not believe a higher power could change the world or my future. It became very difficult to focus on anything but the negative in life and in humans themselves.

I had no friends in grade school. I can recall sitting on the benches at recess watching the other kids play, while I felt nothing but loneliness. I was a shy child. And in fifth grade I began to slip into a more and more depressed state. On some days I would even consider suicide. A ten year old, considering suicide.

It only got worse from there. All through middle school I still had no friends, even worse; I was ridiculed for having no friends. My grades suffered, and then plummeted. Soon the only thing that numbed my pain was television. I began watching six to eight hours of television every day. Slowly, I was separating myself from the world outside. My parents saw what was happening to me. They tried talking to me, taking me to shrinks and limiting my television, which seemed to be a major cause in my depression. None of these had much effect. I would still spend a majority of nights crying myself to sleep.

Fortunately, by ninth grade I began to slip out of my shell and make friends. My grades went up, I got a summer job and my life changed for the better. After five years of misery my pain was finally dissipating. And now I am a much happier person.

I may not believe in much, fate, true love, etc. But I do believe in hope. I believe that our futures are undecided; I believe that anything can change for the better. I now know that our situations are never permanent, they can always become better or worse. But I must remember that they never stay worse forever. I may be in college and still be learning about life, but, I do know this: our path through life can always lead to our eventual happiness. This is what I believe.