This I Believe

Kelly - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 20, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

“LIFE is about trusting your feelings and taking chances,

Losing and finding happiness, appreciating the memories,

Learning from the past, and realizing life goes on”

I believe it is important to live everyday to its fullest and knowing that everything happens for a reason. Although you may not know the reason right away, you know that there always is one. I learned this lesson when I moved to Maryland when I was 12 years old. I still remember the day I found out I was moving. It was during the summer right after my 5th grade graduation. My parents sat my brother and me down and told us about my dad’s job getting transferred and that we would be relocated to Maryland. All I remember was crying and thinking this was the worst thing that could ever happen. I had so many close friends that I had grown up with; I could not imagine having to say good-bye to them. I felt like my heart was being ripped out. But the time came, and on August 12, we made our way up to Maryland.

The first day of school was very difficult for me. I was barely 5 foot tall, skinny, and still had glasses. Our house was still having work done to it, so we stayed in a hotel for the first week of school. I remember riding the bus, feeling so scared and lost. I didn’t know a soul as I walked into the building that day. So many thoughts raced through my head; will I make friends? Will I have people to sit with at lunch? Will I like my teachers? Luckily I made some friends in my classes, and I was able to sit with them at lunch. It felt good to have met a few new friends who were there to talk to during lunch and in my classes.

Adjusting to this new situation was not easy for me. I began to have anxiety attacks in almost every class, almost everyday. I would feel nervous and panic in the middle of class. I would sometimes even cry and have to visit the guidance counselor. He told me to take deep breaths and to write down “I can make it, I can do this” on a piece of paper every time I would feel nervous or scared. Sometimes it helped me and I would calm down and be okay, but mostly during those few weeks I felt so hopeless and alone. I cried many nights during that time. I had to constantly tell myself I would be okay, and make it through the day. Because of my anxiety attacks, I felt like I would never make friends. I felt like people would laugh and judge me for crying all the time. Boy was I wrong. That year I made some amazing friends who helped me whenever I needed them and changed me forever. I even met Lauren who became one of my best friends throughout middle school and still is today. I also got involved in my church, and became closer to God. Finally, I was able to live and go to school like a normal teenager. I was no longer afraid and began to feel comfortable. I began to enjoy the new town and school! I did gymnastics and even started a new sport; field hockey.

Then the unexpected happened. My dad’s job got transferred once again, back to Atlanta. I was excited but upset. I had made some great friends during those three years. I was sad to leave them behind, but happy to return to the town and friends I grew up with.

Moving to Maryland taught me that everything happens for a reason. I didn’t know it then, but I learned many things that helped me grow as a person. I learned to adjust to a new surrounding and meet new people on my own, who would eventually become great friends. This is a skill that will help me for the rest of my life. I am now more outgoing. I know that no matter what happens in life, there is a reason. Tough times may happen, and it may not be easy, but I will always make it through. I learned to enjoy and make the best out of every situation. Sometimes something that can seem so hard really makes you a stronger person in the end.

Being happy isn’t having everything in your life be perfect. Maybe it’s about stringing together all the little things, making those count for more than the bad stuff. Maybe we just get through it… and that’s all we can ask for.

-Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants