This I Believe

Ian - Cotati, California
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, hope, setbacks

I believe everything will turn out ok.

This is not some eternal sunshine or optimism, nor is it a stance of disguised laziness. It is not a passive belief, i.e. that everything will work itself out. It is the sincere belief that with a little faith, a pinch of luck, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease you will be able to make sure that everything will turn out for the best. Even my closest friends would be surprised to here me stating this as my belief. I am generally regarded as a pessimist, but I take that to be a corruption of what I really am, a realist with a strong belief in the ability of man to control his own existence. Integral to my belief is my confidence that the universe is not out to get us.

This is not how it used to be. I can remember when I was a little bit younger, maybe fifteen or so, being incredibly unhappy. There seemed to be no tangible reason for this unhappiness—my friends had not deserted me, I was not failing out of school, and, at least to the best of my knowledge, my parents still loved me. None of this mattered, I was incredibly unhappy with where I was. In my mind, nothing was going the way it should. It got to the point where I stopped going out at all because I was no fun to be around. I would spend my days at school more or less in haze. My ipod, complete with overlarge headphones, was my constant companion. Whether it was on or not was totally unimportant, the impression that I was unable to hear my classmates allowed me to avoid any sort of interaction. Now I have always been a fan of long hair (I have a funny shaped head, and the long hair hides that), but at this time in my life I took it to the extreme. Not only did I not wish to interact with anyone, my hair was long enough that it was impossible to see them even if I had wanted to interact at all. After months of this type of behavior I realized what I was doing wrong; I was waiting for someone to come along and fix it or for the universe to work out my problems for me. It seemed like it came to me all at once; I understood that no one was going to fix my problem but me.

So what did I do? I did what needed to be done. I got over myself. Granted, everything had not been going my way, but that is the case for the majority of the world’s population. In fact, I am sure the situation that had me down was a better situation than the majority of people were in. I was guilty of sitting back and expecting someone to help me out. In the end it took the formation of new friendships to snap me out of my funk and allow me to realize that I was going to be ok.

After I wrote the initial draft of this essay I did something totally out of character, I set it aside and didn’t revise it. At first I thought it was just a matter of having too much to do; it wasn’t until today when I finally sat down to rewrite that I understood why I hadn’t worked on it. I felt like a hypocrite. I wasn’t practicing what I said I believed in and revising the essay would only serve to further that feeling of fakeness and hypocrisy. I had allowed myself to sink into a sort of melancholy and I had blamed that on everyone but the true culprit, myself. This has not led me to discard my belief or any thing like that, in fact it has only served to strengthen my conviction. It just proved to me that although everything will turn out ok, that does not mean that the path will be linear. Every day I feel differently about my belief, I struggle to stay totally committed to it but it is this struggle that makes it a real belief. I am too young, too foolish and most of all too human to be totally sure of myself in regards to…well anything.