This I Believe

Hannah - Papillion, Nebraska
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

Who says that you can’t do it yourself? I know I can, at least for the most part. Whatever it is—sewing a purse, installing a pool, fixing a car, or even building a porch roof—it can easily be done by “doing it yourself.” Most people like to hire out work when the brakes on their car need fixed or when they want a basement finished. Not me. Give me a hammer and a screwdriver, and I am ready to get moving.

It seems like I’ve always been this way. As a little girl in kindergarten, I loved to build LEGO castles and make paper structures that were all my own unique design. I didn’t wait for instructions on how to build or color something. I just jumped in and found a way that worked for me. As I got older, group projects in school were done chiefly by myself, ironically, because I knew that it would turn out quite well if I could just take the project home and do it myself. The science fair was a blast, too. I got blue ribbons two years in a row for my make-shift masterpieces. I loved to decorate and design, compile and compose, engineer and erect. I preferred to always do it myself.

My dad played a huge part in this constructive characteristic of mine. Ever since I was a small child, my dad had always engrained the idea of doing it yourself into my siblings’ and my impressionable brains. As kids our cupboards were homemade, our beds were built from scrap pieces of plywood and 2×4’s, and our squeaky floors and doors always got repaired when dad got home. When we were old enough to things for ourselves, we were often included in the many do it yourself projects my dad undertook and still are today. His most ambitious project lately—which we have been roped into—is installing a massive 28 ft. pool in the backyard. For $2000 you can get it done by a professional. For about $250 in tools you can do it yourself. To him—to me—the choice is obvious. Throw in a little elbow grease and save an arm and a leg in cash.

I can’t describe the feeling of finishing a project, either. In simplest terms it is an inner satisfaction, a joy that only be felt by a creator, a conqueror. It is like spending hours hiking up a mountain and finally reaching the top. It is like coming up with a solution to a math problem that took two pages of work to solve. It is like swimming across a mile-wide lake and triumphantly reaching the other side. Only it is like none of these things. It is above and beyond any other feelings of satisfaction. It is your creation, it is part of you.