I believe that change is one of the most important and defining components of our lives, and is often underestimated. As a senior in high school, I am on the verge of one of the biggest and most exciting changes of my life. I can’t wait to experience all of the wonderful things that college has to offer, but this change is expected. It is the unexpected that I think has the most influence on us. I am the kind of person who likes, and at times needs, to be in control. I do not particularly like surprises, and prefer things to be organized and planned. Well, unfortunately for me, that is not really how life works. When I was fifteen my father remarried; through the marriage I acquired not only a new stepmother, but also two stepbrothers. Previously, I had only one sister who is ten years my senior, and was raised more or less as an only child. Living with two high school boys was a big adjustment. However, we all got along well and quickly became a close-knit family. Approximately two months later I learned that my stepmother was pregnant. This was a complete shock to me, and I did not know how to handle it. After almost 16 years of being an only child of divorced parents, not only did I have to adjust to a new stepmother and two older siblings, but now a baby was coming into my life. Let us just say that I was less than excited. However over the following eight months I had some time to come to terms with the idea. When Alexis was born, my suspicions where proved true, my life completely changed. Before she was born I thought that she would take up all of my father and stepmother’s time, and that I would be placed into the category of the “older kids” who could take care of themselves. I thought that my high school years would be over shadowed and defined by the fact that we had a baby in the house, and the once close relationship I had with my father would shatter. I knew that as I grew older the relationship between my father and I would change, but I thought that it would change on my terms. I felt as if I had completely lost control of my life, and all of my frustration was aimed at the baby. The first couple of months did not improve my attitude very much. The baby always cried, and would only let her mother hold her. There was no sisterly bond, and I was always forced to be quiet so that I would not wake her. However, as she continued to grow and her personality emerged my opinion of her changed completely. Alexis is now two years old and she is one of the most enjoyable little people I have ever spent time with. It is such a blessing to be able to watch her and help her grow into a young girl and eventually into a woman. No matter what kind of mood I am in she can bring a smile to my face, and it is nearly impossible to resist her carefree charm. Watching her learn and take in the world inspires me to keep learning, and to remember the innocent curiosity we are born with. I have learned that every change, no matter how bad it may seem initially, always has some sort of positive outcome. We can grow and learn from any setback and make it into an advantage. Life throws many curve balls, but with a little patience and the right outlook, a curve ball can become a grand slam.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.