This I Believe

monica - el paso, Texas
Entered on December 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in taking time for myself, whether it be fifteen minutes or an entire weekend if necessary.

As a teen I don’t have the responsibility of paying bills, dealing with bosses that are unbearable, paying taxes or anything of the sort. As a teen, I do have the responsibility to write three essays in two days, study for tests that could break or make me, baby-sit a million kids, attempt to keep a house clean because it seems everyone else has stopped trying, and somewhere amidst all the chaos, I’m supposed to find time to eat and sleep. Sometimes, when I do get to rest, I lose sleep wondering if I’ve done everything that needed to get done. All that changes on Saturdays.

When I was still in high school, I found myself always worrying about something: did I have to do a science project? Were we going to have morning rehearsals for band tomorrow? Did I turn in those papers? Am I going to be eligible for dance, choir, and band? And so on and so forth. For the first time in my life I had taken on more than I could handle, but didn’t want to stop doing anything; as time went by, it got progressively worse. With that, my Saturday ritual began.

My Saturday nights are spent in solitude, dancing, singing, reading, or in the company of a handful of friends.

My mom has always been one to scold me for wanting to have moments to myself, I guess she doesn’t appreciate a few quiet moments to just sit and exist. I’m surrounded by people all day, so just taking time to breathe in a park or alone in my room is heavenly. People often confuse solitude for loneliness which is why they avoid it at all costs. You often need that time to recharge your batteries is what people don’t realize.

Dancing and singing are some of the things that I live for. They release inner demons . I belt out songs both on and off key, but hey, it feels good. Martha Graham once said, “ Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” I agree. I guess it’s a form of sublimation, dancing my frustrations away, so I’m not about to stop dancing any time soon.

Books have always been that escape for me. They have the ability to teach and to provide an escape into far off worlds where I no longer have to be myself, I could be anything or anyone. Who wouldn’t want to take a free vacation, no packing involved.

My biggest guilty pleasure is being in the company of my friends. We usually don’t do anything except sit and talk, occasionally we’ll go out but that’s it. Its nothing fancy, but it does the trick. We all need time to spend with people we’re not forced to be with. Friends are presents you give yourself.

It may not be the biggest kept secret that leading a happy life makes you live longer, but many people don’t live by it. Either way, I find it essential to find my escape come Saturdays.