What do I believe? I questioned this for most of my youth. I did not really have ample time to contemplate this question growing up, in between running from my serial kidnapper- also known as my father- and trying to fit in with a world I did not understand. I did not understand it, that is, until I figured out that life is what you make of it. No matter what my situation is, I have the power to derive my own understanding from it. Learning this freed me from “worldly” thinking and saved my life.
On too many occasions I am asked how I made it through my childhood. It is not common to live out a real-life Lifetime movie. I used to second guess my strength often and feel as though I was at fault for not being weak and basking in my own tears of sorrow from what happened to my family. Then, I realized I did not feel sorry for myself because this was reality and the only life I was given. How dare I second guess what god gave to me. I had two choices: wonder aimlessly about life in self-pity or learn from my past and use it to empower my future.
I would tell the story of my childhood but that is not what I believe. What I do believe is that too many times the average person will settle for what will make them feel “okay.” Too many times, we know the exact steps to greatness and still do just enough to get by in hopes that we did just enough to not stand out! Too many times I see my friends back down from a challenge because they have defeated themselves in their minds before they even began to put a plan in action.
We only get one try at life! I did not get what this meant before I was hit with a beautiful reality. Just because it is the norm for a person in a certain situation to fail at something out of their realm of normalcy does not mean that it should not be attempted. I was not supposed to graduate high school because my brother did not. But he was sick and I was not. I was not supposed to get a scholarship to college, I was just the quiet girl who’s classmates and teachers assumed was quiet because she did not know the answers. If that were true, I would not have run four years of collegiate track at a Division 1 university. I was supposed to be shy and drawn back (possibly a bit depressed) because that is what is expected from a child with a dramatic childhood. But I am far from that and did not have to work too hard to exceed “worldly” expectations.
Maybe it is easier for a person like me to realize this because I never really had a comfort zone. But I take it as my duty to pass on what I believe from the deepest depths of my heart. You really can achieve anything that you want to achieve; all that is needed is a perception check. My high school basketball coach once asked me if it was pain I was afraid of when I did not want to run any more sprints. Was I afraid of the pain? Of course not, but my perception was that everyone else did not want to run so there must have been some fire breathing dragon about to burn our heads off if we ran one more sprint…wrong! Life is a battle between thinking for one’s self and thinking as a culture. The problem with thinking as a culture is that, although the culture is similar, they do not know your needs, wants, desires, and strengths. I believe I can think for myself, with help from god and a massive amount of faith. Have you taken time away from your daily routine to figure out what it is exactly that you believe in…what are you afraid of?
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