I curse like a sailor, I watch R rated movies on a regular basis, and I haven’t gone to church for almost 8 years. I never tip, I don’t let pedestrians cross in front of my car, I live in what could be considered absolute filth at times, and I’m slothful.
But I’m a good person.
I care about my loved ones with a fierceness found only in the wild. I’m loyal and I try to be kind even if I’m having a terrible day. I believe in the little things.
The good life lies in the little things. Letting yourself enjoy the small, insignificant occurrences that life gives you leads to your ultimate self-judgement. We are given a conscience to judge ourselves through life. I believe that if you believe you’ve led a good life and made the best decisions in any given situation, you won’t be punished. I believe God is not wrathful and vengeful, but loving and kind and understanding.
I believe in having inner happiness. Happy people lead better lives, in my opinion. I’ve had my fair share of bad news and I’m one of the happiest people I know. At 19 years old, I’ve been to more family funerals than anyone my age should have to attend. I’ve lost many of the more important key members of my family; I have one living grandparent. In lieu of becoming bitter and depressed and begging for medications like I’ve seen friends do, I feel an infinite connection to my lost relatives. After my Nanny died when I was 11, I began praying to her, instead of God (who I assumed would be too busy), to watch over me and guide me through life.
I was very angry with God for taking away my Nanny, the best person I ever knew or still know existed, but with the thought of my Nanny watching over me, I quickly let that anger dissipate and I now I strive to become a person my Nanny would be proud of.
Last Autumn, I lost my Grammy to a horrific battle with cancer and tumors and suffering. No one should have to help their formerly strong, inspiring grandmother puke into a bed pan because it’s the only thing there and her body is rejecting the chemo. The early morning when she finally got the relief she needed, I almost felt it happen. I’d picked a dumb fight with my boyfriend which led to tears and eventually him calming me down; that’s when I got the call telling me my Grammy had passed away during the throes of my crying rage. This only reaffirmed my belief that my loved ones are watching over me. I don’t do things to make God happy, I lead the life my grandparents would be proud of.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.