This I Believe

Makenna - Boulder, Colorado
Entered on January 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

I believe in living life to the fullest, spending every moment as if it would be your last, just enjoying life.

Ever since I entered middle school my mind was filled with lies of a perfect life. A life where there was no death, no sadness, no loss. But soon, I was surrounded by all things I had feared. Friends were dying, classmates were diagnosed with cancer, nothing would ever be the same. One day after school I passed a fellow student in the hallway riding on his segway, he had just finished with chemotherapy. I thought to myself as I walked by, “This could be me. Next time, it could be me.”

After that day I decided I needed to live my life like I would never live it again. Realizing the truth that had been hidden from me for twelve years I started nice and easy, I tried to conquer my fears. I thought that by conquering my numerous fears I could live life afraid of nothing, the way I had so often dreamed it to be.

I feared the dark, so I moved into the basement.

I feared flying, so I flew alone.

I feared heights, so I went paragliding and zip lining.

I accomplished my goal, I faced my deepest fears with maturity and understanding. But something inside of me told me that I was still missing out.

That was simply because I feared life. I feared living life to the fullest.

As many teenagers would, I soon forgot about my agreement with life. I stayed up to 1am surfing the web, I yelled at my parents, I disrespected the people I knew. But once again, life gave me a wake-up call. As I was doing my English home work one snowy evening all of a sudden my heart felt like it was going to explode. It pounded out of my chest getting faster and faster. I dropped my pencil and started to panic. What should I do? My greatest fear was to die.

But then I looked back on the day I said I would live life the best I could. So I laid down and breathed in slowly and then breathed out. If I was going to die, I should at least enjoy my last moments. After laying down for what seemed like ages, I grabbed with my remaining strength my watch and started to count how many heart beats in a minute, I got 220. As I looked at that number my heart gave one final pound and finally slowed down. I immediately opened my basement window and exclaimed to the world, “I love life”.

In the end, I no longer feared death, I over came all of my fears, realizing that to live life to the fullest you don’t need to defeat all things you fear, but you also need to take risks and simply accept and love the fantastic life you live.

This I believe.