This I Believe

Sara - Rehoboth, Massachusetts
Entered on September 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe this will catch your eye. What is this, an advertisement? What are you selling, what’s in it for this writer? Notoriety, acknowledgement, even an immortality of a sort. I must confess that all these things are attractive to me, and good enough reasons to write. In this case, none of the above. I believe in your mind, and my desire is to touch that mind, like skimming my fingers over the surface of a clear pool of water. In fact, I treasure the fact that you are not me, and I am not you.

When I graduated from college, I felt like my identity had been stripped away from me. I had always relied on my classwork to give me a sense of who Sara was, and now no longer a student, I had no idea of how to set myself apart. I did some house-sitting for a month in almost complete isolation and finally had the sense to call my father to come and drive me the fourteen hours back to our house. When I reached home, I suffered from a sense of loss and devastation that amounted to a nervous breakdown, and I was hospitalized. I didn’t know what to do with myself, where I had always been so sure.

The trauma of this experience, although tragic in the pain it inflicted on my caring family, reached in like nothing else ever had and shook my core beliefs about who I was. I had to re-define myself. Although I left the hospital in a few weeks, it took four more years to learn to say “I am in control of who I am, and this is what I want my life to mean.”

Every day now I work and e-mail and call and have drinks with an array of people, of whom not one is a mirror image of myself. More than that, each person I meet is a new amalgam of reason and feelings, making decisions based on an intelligence distinct from myself. It’s a great surprise, inspiration, and wonder that each of us lives and thinks at all. And so, thank you for reading.