This I Believe

Joella - Penngrove, California
Entered on October 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the nontraditional–that the best thing you can do is to go with your

inner flow and not the flow of society. I believe in the oddity of life, the abnormal, the bizarre and the out of ordinary.

I grew up oblivious to the pressures of society. My parents have played a major role in this matter, but they did it unconsciously because it is how they live their lives. Just the other day my mom told me “that I shouldn’t be overly competent in everything I do but rather I should show that I’m incompetent in some ways, so I wouldn’t have to do everything.” Most parents won’t tell this to their child because they have hopes and dreams of them being successful and competent in their grown-up life. My mom wasn’t telling me to fail at what I attempt, nor was she telling me to not to perform to the best of my ability. I believe that my mom was in a roundabout way telling me not to carry the world on my shoulders. My parents never put pressure on me to go to college or to do something great in my life but just to do something that would make me happy. As I look around at my peers I see all the stress and pressure that has been put on them to be great and I realize how rare it is that all my mom wants for me is not to feel the need to do everything.

How oblivious I was to traditional society was only brought to my attention by childhood friends. I had this friend Cassidy who every we would have a play date, she would question my parents relationship. She would always ask, “Wait so your parents aren’t married but they live together, how is that possible?” Because I didn’t know that this was a unique this situation, I would always be mystified and respond, “its just is how it is.” My parents never married; they never felt the need to justify their relationship in terms of the state. We lived harmoniously as a family unit up until my sophomore year in high school. My dad moved out, but he still has his restoration automotive shop on my mother’s property. Ironically, my parents relationship has improved through their separation, as well as my individual relationship which each of them.

Right now my only major requirement for a particular college is that there are a lot of trees I don’t care if the school has a prestigious history or it is recognized for something amazing. All I want is to be surrounded by trees at a school where I will be intellectually stimulated and to not feel the need to conform to anyone else’s expectations but my own.