This I Believe

Miranda - Charlottesville, Virginia
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, purpose

I walked to the counter and handed the employer my credit card. However, when I went to retrieve my license, I realized to my dismay that I left the card in the car thus restricting the purchase of the gorgeous array of blue and green silk in my arms. “Oh well,” I sighed. Although now faced with the prospect of digging through umpteen more unflattering, cookie-cutter, ostentatious, and flat-out tacky dresses I knew this one was not meant for me. It was a sign.

I believe everything happens for a reason. Neither an optimist nor a pessimist, I’m more of a realist. No, I’m not one to buy into the results of one of those endless childhood games of MASH which reveals that I’m destined to marry my Spiderman-obsessed neighbor while we live in a shack with our 73 children and drive a limo. I do know, though, that there is intent and purpose to the madness of everyday life. The purpose may be as trivial as providing a funny anecdote to tell at a dinner party or as grand as the introduction to a future spouse. A seemingly random event may eventually force you to reform and rid yourself of bad habits or finally face the grim reality that you’re not as impervious as you once believed– whatever it may be, it is necessary.

Of course I’m not advocating mass-murder or natural disasters but I do believe there are beneficial results to tragedies. Yes, the terrorist attacks that occurred in our country as well as those still taking place on a daily basis across the globe are not to be condoned. However, such tragedies do tend to unite communities; moreover, hopefully in the long run our efforts to combat the causes of terrorism will lead to a widespread sense of peace and safety. Tragedies in the home, on a smaller scale but perhaps bearing greater impact, also can strengthen ties. We are introduced to new experiences with hopes that in the future these past roadblocks will contribute to a greater sense of the world and ourselves. Jolted by tragedy, we see our world in a new way and rely on others for help.

This outlook helps me to brace myself for the college application process. Sure, I’m in love with Penn. Do I want to go anywhere else? Nah, not really. Will I be happy somewhere else? Probably. But am I too stubborn to give into the, in my opinion, lesser schools? Of course. However, the rational part of me knows that if I’m not accepted as a Quaker for the class of 2012, it will be for the best. Maybe Philadelphia isn’t actually the city for me. Instead, what if I enroll in an undergraduate medical program and find the cure for cancer? Or, on a more realistic level, I meet my future best friend or husband? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be disappointed when I open the rejection letter but I will not be crushed, I’ll see it as a necessary bump in my path but nothing that will restrict me from having a fabulous stay in college and accomplishing greatness.

I’ve had my share of hard times in the past year and this way of thinking has helped to keep me sane. Even if there is not a favorable outcome to events or relationships, the least I can do is gain from the experience. What went wrong? What would I do differently in the future? By analyzing the situations and becoming aware of my mistakes, I’m opening a new door of insight and wisdom. I can’t live with the idea that a life-long friendship was for nothing, all a joke; I need to find meaning in it and know that it was not a waste. I need to grow from it. It is necessary that I view this failure not as simply that but also as a learning experience; it is the opening of uncharted territory and friendships simply waiting to be discovered. The departure of this union as well as any future setbacks or rewards will usher in new experiences, knowledge, and adventures.