John Wooden said, “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out”. But this was definitely not the mentality I carried during 8th grade. I’m the type of person who tends to over dramatize everything in their own life, and to me, life just wasn’t going at all how I wanted it to. Often, many of us focus so much on the negative aspects of our situations that we forget all about the positive, which in most cases, outweighs the bad.
I started the school year living with fourteen other people under one roof because some of my family had just immigrated to the US. This was annoying and I started keeping myself locked up in my room. I didn‘t want to interact with them, and soon I didn’t want to interact with anyone. On top of that, it was like all my obligations were piling up so much that I didn’t know what to do. My parents wanted me to go to Northside College Prep. H.S., “the best school in Illinois”, as they put it and my friends were fighting so much I just wanted to yell at them. In school I was involved in our variety show, science fair, TV station, musical, band, choir, an extended girl’s only choir, was a manager of the varsity boy’s soccer team and I even had some activities out of school. Soon, I became easily stressed and worn out, feeling like everyone expected too much of me; more than I could give and was capable of.
But as bad as I tried to make it seem, that year had the potential for being the best year of my life. I made it into Northside, successfully performed at the variety show, made regionals in science fair, got to spend time with my friends on the soccer team, was a lead in the musical, was one of the more highly praised crew members, first chair clarinet in band, and received the highest award for choir given at my school.
As time went on, my perspective on life changed. I learned somewhere that you’re never going to get anywhere and expect people to be friends with you without first giving something of yourself. A guy in my health class asked me about something I had vaguely referred to in my personal life and I decided that that was when I was going to stop avoiding the questions and trust someone with a part of myself. It wasn’t a super heartfelt conversation, and it didn’t need to be. It was a good start. And now, near the middle of sophomore year, he’s one of my closest friends. I started looking at my life in a totally different way; focusing on all the good things and enjoying them. Life goes on, and I believe that nothing is ever as bad as it seems.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.