This I Believe

Kellie - Colorado Springs, Colorado
Entered on February 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

My grades were never good enough, even though I had a 4.0, my times were never fast enough, even if I placed first, and I was never grateful enough, even if I thanked God every night for His blessings. In the eyes of my toughest critic, I will never be up to par. I will always be the daughter that had so much potential but could never amount to anything.

Throughout my childhood, I will always remember the fun times that I had with siblings and friends. The constant reminder, that nothing I did was ever good enough, will always overshadow these jovial times.

While my neighbors were outside frolicking in the sun, I will always remember the days I spent inside rewriting assignment after assignment just because I used an eraser. While the rest of my swim team was quietly on their way home, I will always remember the car-rides after a meet in which nothing my father said resembled a compliment. While my friends received adulation from their parents for mediocre grades, I will always remember my father losing report cards bearing grades that expended every last ounce of time and energy I possessed.

Throughout the years that the verbal abuse continued, I always believed that my father was right, always wondering why I was such a disappointment. My father was supposed to be the man that would love me unconditionally, my own flesh and blood, honest evermore. For years, I continued on my quest to find the one true way to make my father proud and to find what perfect was, and why it had been so elusive all my life.

When I awoke from this fruitless search, I was in a dark place, exhausted, unhappy, and alone. Time had not waited; my junior year had passed me by without hesitation. The amaranthine comments followed me like a dark shadow, matching my bleak interior, never abandoning my side. From there I build up my defenses and learned to let his negative comments go. I quickly learned not to be “thin-skinned” and I made it a personal resolution to make myself happy first.

It was this point in time when I realized that no one is perfect, not even dear old Dad. Long before this revelation, I had come to grips with the fact that my father would never change and his hurtful comments would never waver. I took the most incomparable step of my lifetime, to make myself happy first.

From this giant step, I found what I believe in the most, that people have to make themselves happy first, even if they do disappoint their parents –and this I believe.