This I Believe

Emily - Sammamish, Washington
Entered on April 9, 2007

I feel completely ordinary with nothing interesting or unique or exciting to

tell anybody about…yet.

Last summer, I went to a month-long camp for the third year in a row. It is my

favorite place to be in the whole wide world. Last year I spent my summer in a

cabin with six not-so-average girls.

One of them, LaKisha (mmmmm girrrrrrrrl), was from Mississippi. Although she didn’t

talk about it much, her house had been taken by Hurricane Katrina, and yet she

was there. During the first week of camp, I admit that I did get particularly

annoyed with her when she woke me up every night at 2 am, wanting someone to

walk her down the lightless path to the bathroom, but once I heard her story, I

knew she had more courage than I did.

Another girl in my cabin, Adrianna Lacollette Tully Deglar was practically the

opposite. She grew up a non-religious Utahan. Her dad is a coach of the US

ski team, and apparently that is a high paying job. Her family owns a bay up in

the San Juans (a bay!) and she has traveled to just about every place in the

world, from the French Alps to the plains of Africa. But Adria is one of the

nicest girls I have ever met. She loves to laugh, is always welcoming and

surprisingly, a total environmental sucker.

And then there was Jessie. Jessie and I, we didn’t exactly get along. She never

shut up about her boyfriend, or how so and so hated her, or what her hair looked

like. Sometimes I was close to tackling her, like in football. Then one night,

when we were all lying in our bunks just talking, Jessie told us about how her and

her family didn’t get along, and how they would push her and push her and yell

and yell and that they rarely ever spoke anymore. I realized that her constant

bragging was just a cover up.

Throughout my months at camp, I met a Prince from Africa named Nii, kids from

Russia, a guy that goes to boarding school during the year and summer camps in

the summer, many people from the San Francisco Bay Area or Hollywood, very

patriotic Canadians eh, my counselor an Indian Swed, some Irish guy, and so many


Here is where the personal comes in;

I look at these people and think, what’s my story? I don’t think I even have

one. Compared to this dancing African Prince guy on my left, and this girl

who’s been to more countries than I can count to on my right, I am just plain

boring. I live in suburbia, I go to public school, I play soccer, I go to camp, I hang out with my friends, but so do millions of other people in this growing world.

What do I have, that nobody else does? How will I contribute?

Maybe I am ordinary now, as I am still struggling to figure myself out, but I

believe that inside me, I am something extraordinary. I believe that my future

holds my story. I will be different; I will do something amazing for myself or

for the world. I’ll be a doctor or an artist, a scientist or a nomad, a barista

or a politician. I just don’t know.

So you may look at me like I looked at Jessie and think “blah”, but you won’t know

my story, and frankly, neither do I. But I believe that in my life, I will

become an Adria or a LaKeisha or a Nii. My story is short right now, but

someday it will be colorful and winding. Somewhere deep inside of me, are

successes, failures, dreams, desires…my future. I believe that everyone has a

story to tell, including myself. And for now, I won’t worry.