This I Believe

Lindsay - Pullman, Washington
Entered on May 15, 2007

As I sit and ponder the inevitable transition into college life, I look back and forth into my past and future. What do I like? What do I want? Who do I want to become? And as I sit solitary, engulfed in my thoughts, I feel a push; a big shove from behind. My parents, their friends, my teachers, their friends, my relatives and their friends, all behind me.

They say they are supporting me and that I do not doubt. But they are constantly forcing anecdotes, advice or rules onto me. And of all the advice, stories or ideas, one consistently stands out: Possession.

It’s not as if they realize it, although some of them do. “Engineering, that’s where the real money is!”‘ they say in unison. Regardless what I say: I don’t care about money, that’s not what I want, that won’t make me happy, they always reply, “You Will!”

I say I want to travel, see the world, and help people other than myself. I despise the thought of owning more than I need, proving my accomplishments with the things that I own, or spending my money on things that have no meaning. Most of all, I don’t want to fall into the idea that money buys happiness, especially without knowing it. I express my need for personal not financial growth, but they still reply, “You will!” Figurines, fake flowers, matching furniture or lawn décor, to me, they symbolize surrender. Surrender to what I believe. I believe in finding happiness and success in other places than wealth. I don’t need it, I won’t pursue it, nor do I want to. If I want that, and truly want that, then I want to find out for myself. And if I waste my time and succumb to a large house, big cars and a life of empty time, I’ll have done it myself. As regretful as I may stand at that point, if they say “I told you so,” I know that I would undoubtedly regret it more if I had not listened to myself.

I am my own person, living my own life, finding my own beliefs. They can push and they can shove, but they cannot move me unless I will it so. Happiness and success are left for me to define and all they can do is be proud; proud of my actions and my choices. I believe in self-discovery and success through means other than money. And at this point engineering is still not for me.