This I Believe

Ashley - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on April 20, 2007

I am twenty-one years old. I am told this make me an adult. I have officially “grown up” so it is about time to decide what I am doing with my life. That being said, I think you, the reader should be aware of what my life’s expectations have been up until now.

At five, becoming a dentist was the big career plan. I wanted to help the world one toothy grin at a time. This was before cavities, wisdom teeth, and when pulling a tooth meant a dollar under my pillow and an awesome new sticker with a shiny tooth on it. This was my dream until second grade.

At eight years old I conjured a new dream in my ever-wandering mind. After endless hours singing into my mother’s hairbrush and performing “complicated” choreography in the mirror over my dresser, I knew performing was in my blood. I would bring smiles to the world. I approached my parents tentatively with my news. They would be concerned for me at first, this being such a difficult career to commit to. It was important to let them down easy since they were losing a doctor in the family. When the words slipped out during my macaroni and cheese dinner, they paused and stared for what felt like a lifetime, finally nodding solemnly, admitting that with my potential I would go places. Two years later I learned I was tone deaf.

Middle school and high school went by in an awkward and confusing blur. Boy crazed, dreaming of a bust, and finding myself blushing at every moment helped fashion a new goal to accomplish. Somehow, becoming a supermodel was now the dream of dreams. By doing so, I imagined gaining confidence and of course making the world a more beautiful place one Cosmo magazine at a time. This idea was short lived when it became apparent that genetics were not on my side – there are far and few supermodels out there that are vertically challenged like myself. The rest of high school was spent concentrating on the happiness of those around me.

Currently, I am attending my third year in college and much like the years that have lead up to this point, changing my mind about what to do with my future, is a frequent occurrence. Teaching, literature, and creative writing have all been considered as potential occupations and only time will tell which one will truly stick.

I am twenty-one years old. I am told that makes me an adult, however; here I am still not completely sure about my “adult” future. What I am sure of is the things I truly feel are important have stuck with me. I believe in helping people, making people smile, bringing beauty into the world, and making people happy. I’m not sure what I will do with my adult life, but these are the things I believe in.