This I Believe

Matt - Minnneapolis, Minnesota
Entered on October 29, 2007

I have not been the best behaved or made some of the best decisions in my life, but my parents have given me a second chance. By giving people second chances after making a mistake I believe this makes them a better person.

This past summer, I worked at the Minnesota State Fair parking cars with my football team. I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to be at our field at 5 am. This was about 6 hours earlier than I had gotten up all summer long so the transition was quite tough. For 4 mornings, I met up with 9 other teammates to make the drowsy drive to the fair through the morning fog.

As you can imagine, none of us enjoyed this very much so we tried to make it as tolerable as possible. Everyone’s favorite stop on the way to the fair was McDonalds. I became very accustomed to the smell of hash browns and McGriddles in the morning. After everyone received their food, we headed back on our way. By now, the fog had began to clear, and we were able to see for more than 10 feet in front of us.

After many long, tiring hours of waving a flag in the smoldering sun, I had never enjoyed air conditioning so much. The minute I got home, I went straight to bed to do it all over the next day. I could very strongly feel the lack of energy that next day. Everything happened in the same order until we started to head home.

I was following my friend Lee home from the fair and we both had a car full of kids. It was very difficult to keep my eyes open on the drive home after being awake for 10 hours and the 2 monsters I had drank had not kicked in yet. We were at a red light when Parker, who was in my front seat, wanted me to back up a little so he could see some girls that were on the sidewalk. I did, and in the corner of my eye I thought I saw the light turn green, it hadn’t. I went forward pretty fast and bumped into Lee’s car which was not moving forward. The second after I hit him, the light did change and it was quit a busy street so we both kept driving.

When we arrived at the field only his car had damage, so we did not tell the insurance company right away, and I didn’t tell my parents. I knew I made a stupid mistake and was scared to confess it. I was planning on paying Lee in cash without ever telling my parents, but when the estimate came in, I knew it wouldn’t be that easy. Because it was a foreign car, everything on those cost more to fix. The damage was estimated at around $2,400. Even after this, I still didn’t tell my parents about it. About 3 weeks after the crash, Lee’s dad called my dad and told him the news.

Obviously, my parents were mad, but they did forgive me. I am very grateful to have them. I use this instance to help myself remember that accidents do happen and that nobody is perfect. I believe that learning from this mistake will make me a much better person in the future.