This I Believe

Kelly - Issaquah, Washington
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

The phone call.

“Kelly, he killed himself”

I hung up in disbelief.

But the phone calls didn’t stop there.

I didn’t want to believe them.

My freshman year, a close friend of mine took his life. Everyone called him a hero and I didn’t understand it. Why is he a hero? He gave up. He quit when the going got rough. Wouldn’t a hero stick it out? Wouldn’t a hero persevere? A wise friend told me that he is not a hero for what he did, but for the life he lived and the people he touched. It took me a long time to forgive him for what he did to me, to his friends and to his family. But now that I’ve come to terms with it, I don’t blame him, and I don’t think less of him. And even though it has taken me a while, I have forgiven him for what he did. He lived a great life, and was a wonderful person; that’s all that matters now. I want to learn from his experience, and make sure that my end is not the same as his.

When I was dumped on Christmas Eve by my boyfriend of over a year, I didn’t want to persevere. I was done with life and done with guys. But, contrary to what I thought at the time, life kept going. I kept going. And before I knew it, I was over him. Time healed me. And now I’m proud of myself. Proud that I stuck it out and preserved.

It’s so easy to give up sometimes. To just quit when the going gets tough. But I don’t want to be a quitter. I want to be tough, to be able to handle life’s troubles and to make the most of my time here on earth. There is so much I want to do. I want to see the world. I want to be in love. I want to help others. I want to enjoy life. I know that if don’t persevere, I will never accomplish all the things I want too and have the life I want to. I think life is about finding what makes you happy and helping others along the way; only through perseverance can you do so.

I’m not sure why my friend did it, and that’s probably not important now. What is important is that it changed me as a person and has shaped my views for the better. I now feel that I can honor his life if I’m a better and stronger person because of what happened, and I’m committed to not letting what happened to him, happen to me. I believe in perseverance.