This I Believe

Dajah - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 11, 2007

My mother was never afraid to dream out loud. She was always told she would never succeed in life, but she would dream anyway, determined more than ever to make her dreams come true. I can remember as a child that we used to dream together; I danced around with my eyes closed in my tutu she bought from the thrift store, dreaming I was a ballerina, while my mother sat at the table with paper cut outs of homes and color samples she took from Home Depot, piecing together her dream house. Everyone said she would never make it happen, but three years later we moved out of the projects into that house and I was taking ballet lessons in an after-school program.

Watching my mother making her impossible dream come true, I myself began to think that impossible was just a word. I never thought there was anything I wasn’t capable of doing or achieving until the day I reached middle school. I can remember the first time I ever doubted myself; I was in the fourth grade with high expectations of becoming a scientist until I shared my aspirations with one of the smartest girls in my grade. She told me I was the most stupid kid in the class and that I would never become a scientist because that was only for smart people. In that instant I began to doubt myself and all my dreams and aspirations went down the drain. I went home that day thinking my life was over. When I asked my mother if she thought I could ever become a scientist, she stopped what she was doing, gently grabbed my chin, looked me in the eyes and said, “Nothing’s impossible.” And that’s all I needed to hear.

From that point on, my dreams have become a shield from the doubt of other people. Every time someone would tell me I wasn’t smart enough or pretty enough, that I was too fat or my dreams were too big, I simply looked them in their eyes and said, “Nothing’s impossible.”

This I dream, and this I believe.