This I Believe

Deborah - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

I prayed to God to please let me go home that night. I knew I should have listened to my mother as my frozen tongue stuck like a tentacle of an octopus to the icy lamppost. I was the only kid at the park who had not seen A Christmas Story. Even at the young age of six, I learned one of life’s greatest and simplest lessons: people make mistakes.

I condemned myself to live a life of safety inside of my house after the incident. I no longer played outside with my neighbors or sister. Eventually, I opened my door again to my friends. Two weeks without friends in the confines of my home gave me cabin fever.

Following the incident and its aftermath, I thought I had learned to listen to my mother. Instead, I broke a tibia, an arm, two fingers, and a toe all throughout my childhood. Finally, after breaking my left tibia, I came to another conclusion: sometimes it takes time to truly understand your mistakes.

My freshman year of high school was a mess. My nights were sleepless, my eating patterns were irregular, and my grades were horrible. In addition, my priorities were never straight, and all of the pressure from my parents to be in the top five of my class like my older sister did not help either. In my eyes, I was a failure. I never did anything right. I had given up on myself. Soon, a small wave of depression struck, trying to distance me from the things that made me happy. Two months later, I re-examined myself and crawled out of my dark little hole. The only thing I could do was to change so that these mistakes would not be made again. This time, I learned the entirety of this profound lesson: people make mistakes, and it is inevitable. No matter how long it may take realize the mistake, the effort to fix the mistake is what counts. I believe that making mistakes is the best way to learn and change for the better. The renowned American writer Elbert Hubbard once said, “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”