This I Believe

Megan - chesapeake, Virginia
Entered on December 5, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe we will do what we want

I believe that I will do what I want. I believe that nobody can stop me despite the warnings they offer, whether they are out of love or familiarity. You can tell me until you’re blue in the face that I’m making a mistake but I won’t hear you until I see it for myself.

I can’t count, on my hands and feet, how many times I’ve heard my mother start a sentence with, “I think you might not want to…blah, blah, blah”, and the rest becomes gargled like the teacher on the Charlie Brown cartoons. It blows my mind that she can say it a thousand times, and still, she doesn’t get it. “Mom, you’ve got to let me figure it out on my own.” I’m not sure how to make her understand it.

I get what I want, regardless of how much it costs. How many times has my best girlfriend told me the guy I like is a total jerk? Is she speaking from experience? Sure, but I don’t hear her. No, I’m hard-headed, I do what I want, no matter how many times anyone tells me he will hurt me. Do I end up getting hurt? Nine times out of ten.

My swim coach used to tell me not to get in the pool the day before a swim meet. “It’s a party for school Kristi, it’s so hot, and I’m dying. Please, in and out, I promise, just for a second to cool off.” After several intense minutes of begging she gives in. What ends up happening? I’m in such a rush I jam my finger into the wall while jumping out and break it. “See,” she says. “Look what you’ve done now, how do you swim butterfly with a broken finger, all-stars are two weeks away!”

Damn! I wanted it so badly I was willing to risk not swimming for the all-stars, is that how my mind works? I don’t think about the risks when I’m covered in beads of sweat. I don’t think about my friend’s warnings until the guy I’ve fallen head over heels for breaks my heart. I don’t think about my mom telling me not to go to a party without adults present until someone gets hurt or taken home by the police. I never think about the consequences, not until it’s too late.

That is how I work. I do what I want. I don’t heed the warnings until I learn for myself. Nine times out of ten, my mom is right, my friends have been there and done that, and my coaches have a really good reason. It all makes perfect sense.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty, a brilliant saying I’ve heard my mother say on more than one occasion; so simple and so true. It is human nature that I do what I want, this I believe. I learn from my oversights when I do and I think that is the most valuable lesson.