This I Believe

Erin - Bellevue, Washington
Entered on March 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that growing pains must be endured before one can find their true identity. Now, if I heard this as a six year old, I would have disagreed. After all, I knew what I would do and who I would be in life when I was six. I might have said, well I don’t have tummy aches and my life is great! Looking back now, it doesn’t seem like I had many experiences to base my character off of. My life wasn’t terribly hard in kindergarten, and I think that was reflected in my personality.

Now, I’m not saying that my present day life is worthy of reality TV, because its not. And I agree with the adults who scoff and roll their eyes when teens reflect on their lives, because we all know that their lives have hardly begun. I may only be 15 and 11/12, but I’ve learned some things from my back in the day.

From the time I began to talk, I was singing. My passion for music led me to an all inclusive community theater in third grade, and I couldn’t get enough. I learned how to be comfortable on stage, interact with those who had disabilities, and how to make friends. Those experiences were valuable, but they didn’t teach me to be myself. I started out as an awkward little girl who cried after her first audition and didn’t have much confidence in herself. I experienced stepping into other people’s shoes, and seeing things from a new perspective. Even if it was through the eyes of an orphan in Oliver, I learned how to be open minded. Over the years I’ve grown as a singer and an actress, but my personal journey has been the most rewarding. It wasn’t just that little theater; it was the awkward girl who learned how to be confident. I would be a completely different Erin without her.

Keep in mind, growing pains don’t have to be life altering! I believe that every obstacle I encounter, bomb worthy or miniscule will affect my life. I may not get positive results as fast as I would like, but the experience of learning something new about myself is worth it in the end. Those personal explorations form my values, and if those aren’t important, I don’t know what is. I can’t imagine myself living by any other words of wisdom, because everything that I’ve gone through has added something more to my life. To put is simply, my growing pains made me who I am today.