For most of my life I had been considered as an indifferent person who faced problems lightly. I had never cried at a funeral, and I had never been largely affected by visiting a memorial. I used to watch the news and hear stories of death, and I would end up watching a comedy show after it. In each case, I was unable to show feeling, and instead I chose to be indifferent. Because of those indifferences that I had felt through the years, I believe that I had been missing out on life.
Multiple times in my life I have reflected on my past and have wanted “to go back” to that time. However, during that situation, I had unappreciated the experience. At those times I had felt unattached to the situations, but immediately after them, I had missed them all, and wanted to relive them. For example, at the age of twelve, I was given the chance of a lifetime. My Little League all-star team had made it to the state championship, and as the shortstop I was a major part of the team. For most, this experience would be considered incredible, but for me this experience was no different than any schoolyard game I had played. Two straight days my team was one out away from going to Bristol, and in each circumstance I honestly did not care if we had won or lost. After blowing both of our chances to end the series, a 204-foot home run by Spencer Swartzmiller ended our season. That year, our team party was spent watching the team that we had lost-to play on ESPN. On the field I had believed that a loss would not affect me, but as I watched ESPN, my indifferences turned to regret.
What had caused this lack of feeling in my life? I was not incapable of showing emotion, but I had feared showing it. As I grew up my older brother told me stories of how I should never trust women and that eventually “they all would break your heart.” As an older brother this seemingly reliable source became my inspiration for my life. Whether it was a girl, game, or even my parents, I acted as if I was indifferent in the hopes of never being disappointed. For years I had acted this way until a miracle happened, my nephew was born. As my sister’s son turned two, I realized that I was a major role model in his life. With my brother’s philosophy I had wanted to relive my entire life, but as my nephew’s role model I could not follow my brother anymore. As that role model I was forced to realize that life is not about myself and that although disappointments are everywhere, it is still worth it to live with passion. I cannot take back my past actions and indifferences, but I can attempt to live by my new belief, my belief of never taking life for granted again.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.