This I Believe

Kristen - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death

What You See Is What You Get

Bad days. We all have them. We all hate them. This hatred mostly comes from the fact that they never get better; it’s just one bad thing after another until you end up on the side of the road with nothing left to live for. Well, maybe not, but that’s how we think they will end. But in the plethora of bad days that I’ve had, my life has obviously not been over with the closure of each one. It was this startling discovery that led me to an interesting idea. Maybe bad days are bad simply because we believe they will be bad. I have a secret. I’ve figured out how to make those bad days good.

At fifteen I would call myself anything but wise and I am definitely not perfect, but at fifteen I can tell you that I believe in the power of perspective. I believe in the power we as human beings share which gives us the ability to make a situation pleasant or to completely destroy it. But just believing in it isn’t quite enough. The only way to make perspective count is to use it in a good way. Unfortunately, this is a skill that not all of us are equally given.

There are people who can look at a terrible situation, nod their heads, and say, “Well, it only gets better from here.” And then there are people who look at the same situation, roll into a ball and cry. Most people on average are somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. The biggest challenge is trying to see more of the wonderful than the horrible. But many times it just isn’t that easy. It is in these situations where perspective can make the biggest difference.

When I was thirteen, my best friend died. After four months in intensive care it was time to let go. I isolated myself from everyone and everything; I was dead inside. At thirteen I thought my life was over. All I could think of were the things we would never get to do together, all the things she would never see, and all the things I could have said but didn’t. It didn’t take me long to realize that my sulking wasn’t changing anything. It was only making the hurt worse. Instead, I began thinking about what an amazing person she was and all the great things we did get to do together. Life is too short to be taken for granted, so two years after my death I am more alive than ever. I am loving, laughing and learning more and more each day that what you see is what you get.