This I Believe

Brittney - Kansas City, Missouri
Entered on January 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

The Modern Mystery

As a child brought up in the age of technology and modern-science I was never a person to believe in something that wasn’t tangible. Whether it be a ghost haunting or even questioning the existence of God I’ve always believed you cannot understand unless you can physically see or touch something. But despite my resistance against the unknown I have, however, always been determined to prove someone wrong. Maybe out of my argumentative nature, stubbornness, or just wanting to succeed I’ve always kept to my dreams no matter what someone told me otherwise. It’s taken me seventeen years to realize that although I may have difficulties with tangible objects I somehow believe that dreams, although not always obtained, are the true mysteries of life.

As a child I always believed there was something more out there for me than just Kansas City. I made up my mind that when I graduated from High School I would move to Chicago to study at an art institute for technology and communications. Unfortunately, throughout my years I was either told this was impossible because of my financial circumstances or I was just not capable. And although it may not seem like it now I was on the brink of giving up without the hope I needed from my family. My stepfather, however, changed my entire attitude and ultimately changed my life.

Growing up I never really had a family member fully around until my stepfather took me in at the age of nine. Obviously in the beginning I didn’t exactly like him because I was convinced I could be completely independent at my young age. Maybe this is where my stubbornness first derived from. Previously been raised by my grandmother I was never taught the importance of education or the ability to achieve so when my stepfather pushed me I only pushed back harder. Most of it was probably out of spite but some small part of me definitely wanted to succeed. As I grew older he decided to send me to a private school to further my learning and convinced me to enroll in all honors classes despite my lack of education at my previous school. Over the years I grew to love my stepfather and even respected him for providing the hope I always needed. Unfortunately, my attitude changed shortly after Sophomore Year when he left and hasn’t made contact since. I never quite understood why and probably never will understand why he left. In some ways I think he believed he had finally taught me everything I needed to know and there was nothing left of him to give. Or other times I think he knew I was ready to be independent. Sometimes I just think it was an elusive fear that drove him away and of course being a child of technology I didn’t like to accept the unknown. After that I became a very bitter and angry person and completely gave up.

It wasn’t until just a few months ago when my mind was changed. As a senior in high school I went through the college process as any other child, arguing about financial costs and which school my friends were going to until someone said to me “do you really think you’re going to go through with this?” And right then, I had the incentive to achieve what I had given up only a few years ago. I got most of my grades up, looked into colleges outside of Missouri, and applied to three Chicago schools. Eventually I got accepted into all of them. And although my dream still hasn’t been fully reached, especially out of financial difficulties I proved everyone wrong; my favorite thing to do.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my stepfather or what he’s done for me. For the most part he put up with my stubbornness and even pushed me to be more than I am. But most importantly, he taught me to believe. Believe in the unknown, in things that can’t be seen but can still be achieved; to believe in the impossible. Ultimately everyone needs something to believe in. Mine is hope. This I Believe.