This I Believe

Alexandria - Albany, Oregon
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in finding happiness everywhere. I believe in the power of a smile.

Throughout my life, hardships have come my way and I have faced them all. From living in a car with my mother to having two scoliosis operations as a young teen, and later health issues from those procedures. Yet, I smile my smile every day and “keep on trucking”. Some days it’s harder to smile. When my back pain prevents me from standing fully straight or turning much, I put on lipstick and smile anyway.

Have you ever had a charlie horse? Those muscle spasm cramps that keep you awake at night or zap all your happiness away after exercising? I get those everyday in my back muscles from my two scoliosis surgeries. If the pain continues, those charlie horses move to my stomach. Often, my friends and family don’t notice—it is an everyday occurrence after all. When they get really bad, the color drains from my face and lips. My freckles stand out, my coffee colored eyes reflect the pain.

Hopefully these eyes of mine, which I like so much, hopefully they reflect some warmth, too. I know fully well that it could be worse. I could have much worse emotional or physical pain. I know that I could go to a terrible school or come home to bad parents that wouldn’t care if I was in pain. There are a million things worse than a bit of back pain, so I don’t complain.

Instead, I think about the positive: I have great friends, wonderful grandparents that raise me, a helpful school that challenges me, and a special someone who loves and supports me. The mere fact that we share the same name makes me smile. Even just one of the listed positive things in my life gives me reason enough to smile, and much to laugh at.

To rely on someone other than you for happiness is a disaster sooner or later. Perhaps you laugh at a face a child makes or smile at the yellow of a daffodil or the sound of someone’s voice. Never rely on anyone for all of your happiness because really, you can find it everywhere and anywhere, especially in those you love; this I believe.