This I Believe

Audrey - Countryside, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

My mom’s college classmates planned a reunion in New York during the summer of 2003. The one memory I will always have from that trip was getting lost in Queens, New York.

While at a barbecue, my friends Kevin and Camille decide to take a walk around the block. A few times around, I grow bored and suggest we cross some streets to change the scenery a little bit. Our first mistake is that instead of remembering street names, we point out landmarks so we don’t get lost. We make note a weird white fence and a blue house among other things. We forget that some things can look different at night. The sun begins to set. At one point, Kevin realizes he dropped his phone so he turns around to look for it. He says, “Keep walking, I’ll be fine! I’ll catch up to you guys later.” Our second mistake was getting separated. The night grows darker and darker. I’m thinking the streetlights will come on soon. Camille and I keep walking. Kevin finds his phone and calls me. He’s lost. We are all lost. Twelve-year-olds gone astray, at night, in a neighborhood, nonetheless, state they don’t know! Then things kept getting worse. Camille begins to cry. The air was dry, so naturally, I get a nosebleed. What else could go wrong? I hear an annoying beeping sound. Of all the things that could be running around in my head, all I could think about was how much trouble I would be in with my mom when I return to the barbecue. I don’t know if it was the fear of having to face my mom or me just being stubborn, but I was determined to return to the house without having to call for help. The sky was dark blue. You could see the stars twinkling. There it is! The beeping again! I look at my phone and see that my battery is very low. Third mistake is not charging my cell phone the night before. I quickly call Kevin before my phone dies. Much to my dismay, he says he has to call our parents. Well, we had no other choice. My phone dies when my mom finally decides to call me. Great, now she’s going to think I rejected her call. A few minutes later, Camille’s dad found us. Turns out we weren’t very far from the house after all. My mom was furious. Probably because I never told her I went on a walk in the first place. I was grounded when I got home and she made me promise I wouldn’t do something so stupid ever again.

I believe in making mistakes. I think that making mistakes is an essential part of growing up. For example, a child would touch a hot oven and burn himself. Next time, he would know not to touch an oven. Generally, people learn from their mistakes. No one is perfect. I’m sure everyone has had at least one lapse of judgment in their lives. Instead of dwelling on something you wish you had or hadn’t done, don’t take it as failure, but as a learning experience.