Earn your scars

Claudia - Brooklyn, New York
Entered on March 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“Whoa nice bike!” screamed a little kid to his friend as he rode into the park. “I know! My dad gave me the really cool one from Models ‘cause he said I’m a big kid now.” The little kid’s eyes widened as he came closer to his friend’s bike. “Whoa. Can I touch it?” I looked at them from the bench and tried to conceal my 4-wheel training bike. Here I was at age 8 feeling completely un-cool. I stared at how the ‘big kid’s’ bike glistened in the summer sun. I’m going to ride a bike just like that soon. I know I will. What I didn’t know was that I was making a mistake with only expecting and not taking action, to learn.

With any mistake we make, life supplies us with a lesson. Life teaches us that our strength comes through adversity, but most importantly these lessons help us find who we really are. We learn that it is our decision to be whom we want, and this is why I believe that destiny is choice, not chance.

Destiny is said to be the power (often personified as goddesses-‘the fates’) that determines the course of events, but I believe that power is in us. Many believe destiny is a course of inevitable events, and it is easy to fall into the idea that ‘destiny figures’ control our lives, so why intervene? But this is not so. We cannot deny that every act we do does not have an effect on what comes next, and that every decision we make only leads us into a bigger picture.

My first simple realization of this principle was at age10, the age I assumed I would already know how to ride a bike, but oh – I thought wrong. I never took the time to learn; so here I was, the only 10 year-old without two wheels. One day I woke up and I realized I had to do something to get where I wanted to be, and of course to ride a bike like that cool kid in the park, so I decided to take those two extra wheels out. The scars I have show my tough road [no pun intended] of learning. Destiny is about getting what you want by acting on it, preparing for some bumps along the road, and in my case, a band-aid or two helped.

Destiny is in our hands and will be crafted into what we mold it into. It is not enough to want something and wait till you get it. You need to work to reach your goals. Plans we make without a solid ‘foundation’ are likely to fall. And in all seriousness, who wants to be the loser with the wheels?