This I Believe

Alexander - Atlanta, Georgia
Entered on October 10, 2007

A deep, majestic purple paints the horizon. The sun is slowly cascading down the sky like vibrant reds and oranges fall from the trees in the autumn. I see a bird on a branch nearby singing its sweet lullaby. A squirrel scurries down the very same branch and leaps towards the ground. I lie on the lawn, my skin pressed upon every blade of freshly mowed grass. The fresh spring air fills my lungs, as I open myself up completely, body and mind, and absorb everything around me. I have come to realize that the sweetest things in life are the things we notice least in the hustle and bustle of every day life. It had helped me to understand that tranquility is necessary to help overcome the struggles that life presents.

When I was a kid, I would find myself mistaking what I wanted from what I needed. My mother likes to remind me of a pair of yellow rain boots that I used to be attached to. Anytime my mother tried to throw them away, I threw a fit. Looking back on it, I wonder what exactly made me have such a strong attachment to those boots. Did they have any significant sentimental value, or was my attachment to those boots some sort of reflection of my narcissistic behavior as a child? Growing up, I became able to distinguish between what I really needed and what I merely wanted. And through that I was able to recognize that I need something much more than just material objects. I need peace of mind. I need to feel my mind and body at equilibrium. And as much as I need peace of mind, it is not easy to attain. It is not something I can just buy. No matter how vague and intangible the concept is, tranquility is far more precious than any material item.

Last year in particular helped show me the importance of tranquility. During senior year, I dealt with a lot of stress with school and sports. I tore my ACL and Meniscus, and to make things worse, I had a rigorous curriculum and over eleven college applications. One thing that helped me get through all of this, however, was learning to balance my day and making an effort to find tranquility. I started taking a prayer and meditation class to help. Every day I would do yoga followed by meditation and reflection.

I have gained a greater awareness of my surroundings and thus learned to appreciate it more by simply slowing down time ever so often and just absorbing

everything around me. I cannot imagine what my day would be like without a little tranquility. It helps me get through life, one day at a time. The stress, the drama, and the chaos of college life can often times be too much to handle. At this point, I am confident enough to say that with my practiced silent time, I can handle just about anything.