This I Believe

Thuy - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on June 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

Desire is the poor cousin of Action

What does it mean to live life to its fullest? What does it mean to stand at the top of a mountain and feel the meaning of your life? What does it mean to find your soul mate and fall deeply in love? What does it mean to be doubled over with laughter? These were questions that I asked myself this year. I look at the Thuy Tran that came into Northside at the beginning of her freshman school year and at herself now, at the end of her sophomore year. And I’ve realized that she has changed, emphatically for the better.

I was sitting at my desk one evening trying to do my homework when my mom asked me if I wanted to take a stroll by the lake. I sat there and gave it some very deep thought. I realized how rigid my daily routine was. Every day I was expected to help my mom with whatever she needed, to work in our restaurant, and to do my homework. I realized how boring my life was. There was no excitement, no thrill. I jumped up from my desk and I told my mom that I would love to go with her to the lake. At the lake, I went out onto the dock and stood there, feeling the breeze blow against my face. As I looked up into the night sky, taking in the clouds illuminated by the full moon, I realized that I would have missed this wonderful night with my mom if I had been at home, tied to my daily regimen of homework.

I questioned myself, “If I were to look back on my life, would I remember those long nights sitting in a cramped chair under fluorescent lighting, with my neck in pain, staring at the computer screen or would I remember this enchanting, beautiful night at the lake with my mother?” All those nights toiling away at schoolwork will just be a blur, but this delightful evening will remain in my memories for as long as I’ll live.

I believe that school work is very important because it will get me where I want to go in my professional career. However, I also believe that schoolwork and school shouldn’t be my entire life; there must be more to life than school. I believe that I should enjoy the life that surrounds me because we each get only one lifetime. I believe that my time should be spent with my family-the ones I love. My time should be spent with my friends- the ones I get to share my smiles and laughter with. This is me and this is what I believe as of this moment. I want to be able to live by the philosophy that I have arrived at. As someone wise once said, “Discipline is only a means to an end, never an end in itself.”