This I Believe

Danielle - Austin, Texas
Entered on January 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

In the grocery store I stand in the middle of the cereal aisle. I gaze from one end to the other before slowly walking next to the colorful boxes, searching their faces for that something that I crave. I take box after box in my hands, scanning the ingredients in hopes to narrow my choices down to ones that will balance my impulsive sugar cravings with my health nuttery.

Choices, from the most minute to the crushingly crucial, are meticulously analyzed in my mind. They have always ruled my life: taking my sweet, sweet time to decide on ice creams, boyfriends, and arguments. I arrange every option I have in my brain like giant pro con lists. In these lists I run from one side to the other, straddling the line between yes and no, wishing that one would win me over with a critical and unfaltering point. But nothing is as concrete as I sometimes wish it was and I always end up finding merit in both sides. Fortunately, this has only fueled my desire to learn, from constantly researching on the deep sea or the motives behind media “hard ballers”. I swim through ideas and theories, bone yards filled with nonpartisan points that I hoard and organize, trying to assimilate myself as one side or the other.

In many ways my analytical process has been a positive influence on my life, earning me the respect of being objective and understanding, helping me take a step back and reflect on the paths I have chosen. However, in the time that I take to pick a problem a part and come to a solution, I miss out on the opportunities that come with snap decisions. In the home stretch of a deadline, my scrambled thoughts end up misrepresented as slacking rather than introspection. The points that I try to make in an essay or argument begin like strands of noodles stuck together and knotted, no one thought standing on its own and all clinging to their relevance to the focus. It’s in these times of overwhelming doubt that I wonder why I’ve become this way. It’s not so much of an insecurity that drives my uncertainty, though that’s probably part of its roots; it’s more of a belief that there’s always something more. I believe in living my life in the fullest possible way without hindering my future potential. By trusting my doubts I believe I have gained a higher appreciation for the differences of our world.

So in the cereal aisle I try to find the bran, marshmallow or crisp that would mix spontaneity with satisfaction, a mix of adventure and sensibility. With each visit I stand staring for an eternity, searching inside for a voice of conviction that isn’t there, and I wonder what I’ll be craving next.