This I Believe

Shawna - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Entered on December 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, death

I never much liked car accidents. Between the smell of the busting air bags and shattering glass around my body I’ve found the experience difficult to grow fond of, to say the least. I have though, over the years, come to the conclusion that life is very similar to a car accident – the experts recommend wearing a seatbelt but one is never really certain knows if or when an accident is going to happen or even if the seatbelt will save your life.

I was at the ripe age of eight when I learned, with a knock on the door, that the world (and a Ford Escort) can shatter in a moment. On a day that changed my life forever, I learned that sometimes I wouldn’t get a chance to say good-bye to the very people that mean the most to me. It was also at that age when I learned that it’s okay to be scared, confused and hurt but easier to be strong for others when they are weak and in despair. It’s hard to lose a fatherly figure but it’s almost as difficult to see your own mother wither away in sobbing tears carrying the only living remnant of the man she loved inside of her.

Experiencing such a great loss at an early age has led me to believe in the importance of truth of the heart – that everyone in my life has the right to know how much I care because they may not be there tomorrow nor may I. It’s sad to think that on a planet filled with so many people most are unaware of just how powerful their impact is on humanity. I learned and believe that my powerful and passionate existence, my inner strength and courage, seeps into every word speak throughout the day. I seek to live a life filled with passion, intensity, and honesty for to live any other way would make my soul incomplete.

I’ve always found it somewhat funny how a single day, even a few seconds perhaps, can change a life forever. Deep within me is the fear that if I ever really do love someone they’ll be taken away from me one day when I wake up just as it was when I was eight years old. For this reason, I do not allow my heart to run wild but when I do fall in love, I wear my heart on my sleeve and my honesty and loyalty in my soul. I am, by nature, a passionate person in which I’ve found incredible strength beyond measure. I can’t be put back to what I was before the accident but I can become – something even better – a person filled with integrity, strength, honesty, and love deeply embedded into my soul.