This I Believe

Amanda - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on September 20, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

The first Monday morning of summer and I was awake way too early. I didn’t have work, I didn’t have practice, but it was seven o’clock and I was awake, driving down a road that seemed to never end. I was on my way to be a camp counselor for kids with special needs. I was on my way to the beginning of a disappointing summer.

I glanced in the rear view mirror to see if I at least looked decent, or as decent as I could with my red puffy eyes and my nose that didn’t fit my face. I looked away as quickly as possible, not wanting to keep seeing what I kept wishing away.

I arrived at Camp Wings of Eagles, took a deep breath, and began setting up for the day the way we were instructed to at the orientation the Saturday before. I was nervous and it showed. I picked up my paperwork and glanced at it, seeing that I was paired with a six year old girl who was epileptic. I didn’t know what to even begin thinking.

Parents started dropping their kids off at eight o’clock, and the feeling of panic set in. I saw a girl wearing a bright green shirt and pig tails and knew right away that it was my camper. Now came the hard part. How was I supposed to entertain a six year old girl for seven hours a day? What if she had a seizure?

It wasn’t that hard after all. Not only did I keep her perfectly occupied, but she kept me entertained as well. I asked her questions about her condition and she asked me questions about my life. We had conversations that were both personal and involved. I learned a lot I never thought I could from someone so much younger than me.

By the end of the week, I had come to realize that these kids didn’t have it worse than me like I had thought. I finally understood I was the one who had it bad because I couldn’t realize how lucky I was. I had never been able to take advantage of the good in my life because I was always so worried about the bad. I believe that if those kids I spent a week with can look through the bad and see the good, I should be able to as well. After this realization, my outlook on life and I as a person have changed for the better. I am thankful for the lessons that I learned by people who I never thought I could learn from. I’m no longer afraid to look into that mirror and that means the world to me. Other people who have trouble with acquiring happiness in their life should take a look around. My experience helped me realize that the important things in life are deeper than they may seem. If you open your eyes to a new way of life, you can come to appreciate yours a lot more.