This I Believe

Kasia - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Eating biscotti one afternoon, I read what the Mama Says© fortune had to say. “Life is too short to skip dessert” was written on a small plastic card. It is a simple statement, a simple sentiment, simply meant to promote the sales of Mama Says© Biscotti, yet it has resonated with me ever since.

Constantly being in a rush, doing the next thing on my agenda, next homework assignment, next thing towards assuring myself a better college transcript, extracurriculars, helping out, babysitting – is what the difference is between adulthood and the lazy, carefree days of childhood. At 16 years old, I am still in this transition, Sometimes, pressures of this increasingly adult kind of life take away some of the joys I hold most dear. Yet, I think it is important to retain a little bit of childhood, by doing what I love to do – remembering never to skip my own personal “dessert,” desserts I would love to spend my entire day doing. I often curl up with a book on a comfy sofa and have each new page give me a whole new world to imagine. Hours can pass as I read, but I don’t notice. Life still continues at its lightning speed, but I’m caught between pages of princes, spies, and superheroes. Or I set up my violin stand, take out my music, and just for a few minutes, I play a section I enjoy. Each note is played flowingly or fast or with a bouncing staccato. As it takes on a melody, calm fills me and takes away a bit of the rush. Sometimes, I even catch myself simply staring out a window, watching the snowflakes spiral down. I believe in making time for these things because they are what make me happy in a life full of obligations, responsibilities, and expectations.

With a pile of homework, a few essays, and an application to complete, I’m still taking a few hours break to sit with my family and watch a movie. Most likely, once the movie ends I’ll think how I could have better used this precious time to get ahead in my homework. The rush is getting to me. But the happiness I get from watching a movie, enjoying the story told and the incredible colors and pictures, and by spending time with people I love, definitively surpasses the satisfaction I could get by finishing a worksheet. I care greatly about my education and I think it is important to take my responsibilities seriously, but it is these delicious desserts that make life worth living.

I still have this little card that reminds me to take it easy in spite of the incoming adult responsibilities. You have to enjoy living and doing what you love. This is what I believe with all my heart and how I hope to live the rest of my life – to the fullest and happiest, by eating my “cake and cookies”.