This I Believe

Victoria - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on December 16, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change

The power of Change

I believe in change.

I was born in Bulgaria 17 years ago and lived there for 11 years. Before I moved to the United States six years ago, I only spoke Bulgarian, the native language, and had no desire to learn another one even though I thought it was very cool to speak more than one. My parents used to sign me up for English and Italian classes and I cried every time I had to go. I liked my language and didn’t see the need to learn another. I used to think, “Why on Earth do I want to know some weird language that makes absolutely no sense to me? I’ll never need it anyways.”

But soon, a very major event occurred that changed me almost entirely. My family and I moved to the United States. I was 11. I was very excited but I didn’t realize how difficult my life was going to be since I didn’t know English. I thought, “How would I talk to people?” I couldn’t make friends with anyone because we didn’t understand each other. This really depressed me but it was when I realized how important it is to be able to communicate with people so that you can understand each other – that is, to know languages. It makes everything so much easier! I also realized that knowing languages opens up many doors in the future and most importantly, languages change a person’s way of thinking and seeing the world. The very narrow minded person I was before I moved disappeared and a more open minded person emerged. I learned to love languages and other cultures as well, and now I enter my language classes with desire instead of regret. Now, instead of seeing no point in knowing other languages, I see a point and actually want to speak as much as possible. My goal is to learn at least seven.

If I had not moved away from home 6 years ago, I was probably never going to become the person I am today. I have come to the conclusion that big changes occur when great and unexpected events happen. I learned that “never” is a very strong word and should not be used at large because you never know what life has prepared for you and you can never be certain of it. Knowing more than you think you need is never too much. Change happens.