This I Believe

Olivia - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

My dad would always tell me that school is one of the most important things in your life because you need to be educated in order to survive in this world. I listened to what he told me, and I took it to heart. I think I took it a little too far.

My education began to consume my life. Everything I did and thought about revolved around school. I couldn’t ever have any fun because I would feel guilty about taking time to enjoy myself when I thought I should be doing homework. I didn’t know how to relax and I was stressed all the time. My parents started to worry about how stressed I was becoming and would try to tell me that getting a bad grade was not the end of the world. I wanted to believe what they were saying, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about school no matter how hard I tried.

Suddenly, things changed.

I was celebrating my 16th birthday with my family and close friends. We were at our cabin in Torrey Utah and my dad told me to go outside for a minute. I walked outside I saw a tall brown horse standing in the driveway. I recognized this horse as the one that I had spent my whole summer riding and loved with all my heart. I rode him all day everyday and I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time. I was living in the moment and at that time I was able to let go of everything that tied me to school and my stressful life.

Then my dad told me he was my horse. I was overcome with joy. The free feeling I had felt over the summer came flooding back. I was lost in the moment. I touched his face, and at that time I knew that things needed to change. I needed to find a way to go back to the way I had felt over the summer, and this horse was my connection to what really mattered, he was my salvation.

I began to take a closer look at what my life really meant. I realized there was so much I was missing. I just needed to look at the things that are really important, like taking the time to hang out with my friends instead of getting a head start on my homework, or stopping to look out the windows of my school where I would normally rush by to get to class. Most importantly I needed to take the time to go ride my horse, to go outside and to feel the freedom of summer. It’s moments like these in my life when I feel true happiness. I found that this happiness is even greater and more fulfilling than getting 100% on a test.

I believe in the little things in our lives, the wonderful things that we often miss because we are too busy worrying about the things that really aren’t as big as they seem.