In 8th grade a friend of mine committed suicide. After that day I swore, no matter what happened, I would never do something like that. The next day would be better, I would get through things, no matter what, no matter how bad things seemed. This is where the stoplight belief began, but I didn’t realize it until I started writing this paper.
Stop lights control our lives. Whether you’re in hurry, or just driving around bored on a Friday night, the stop light controls when you have slow down and stop everything and when you get to continue on your journey to wherever. The stop light also controls on how long you have to wait. But no matter what, the light always turns green and you get to keep going. I think the stop light relates to life because sooner or later, everyone gets stopped somewhere.
Ever since I was in kindergarten I’ve been really bad at math. I could never grasp the concept of it and couldn’t concentrate on figuring it out nor wanted to waste my time trying at it. So I crashed and just stopped caring about what 2×2 was. This would be a prime example of a red light. Being stopped. Not being able to go forward. Finally, my parents realized I was stuck at this intersection and decided I had to start getting help or else I would be “doomed for life”. After awhile of working hard with different teachers, my light finally turned green and I was able to continue on my drive. But I still sometimes get stuck at this intersection.
When I was five, I hit a long red light. I had just learned to ride a two wheel bike and was showing my new skills off to my friend Julie when my dad came outside and told her it was time to go home. I got mad because I didn’t want her to leave so I started up the sidewalk, moving my handle bars left to right, left to right. After about 6ft I fell. My Feet were on the grass and my head on the concert. The doctors said if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet I would have been seriously injured or dead. Luckily, I only broke my jaw (I use “luckily” as a very loose word), I ended up having my mouth wired shut for 2 weeks. I don’t really remember much but my mom said that it took me a long time to be able to trust my bike again and learn to ride. Finally, my light turned green.
When your 14 about to turn 15, the only thing on your mind is driving, getting your learners permit so you can be on the open road, (with your parents of course). So when I turned 15, I was no different. I rushed to the DMV and took my test. Once. Twice. Then a third time. Forth time. Seven times. Yes. I had to take my learners permit a total of seven times before I finally passed it and got my learners permit. The stop light belief is more literal here then anywhere else.
Sometimes we get stuck in places we don’t want to be. And sometimes were at the intersection for longer then we want. But sooner or later, no matter what, the stop light always turns green, and were on our way to our destination whether we know where were going or not.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.