I believe true happiness is found within one’s self. Through out my life I have learned that no matter what I do to please others, at the end of the day I have to like myself. In the past, I have lived my life through the beliefs of others. I won’t say that I regret this completely because I have learned a lot about life through my experiences. The most important lesson I have learned is that until I am happy with myself, I will not be happy with anyone or anything else in my life. This is a lesson that has taken several years and several more heartaches to realize.
Through out my life, it was constantly drilled into my head that basketball was my ticket to a college education. I began to play the sport because I enjoyed it, but I was told that it was my passion and that was the reason I excelled in the game. I never believed that I had passion for the sport, but that I was passionate about giving one hundred percent of my effort for something that was important to me. One spring morning in 1999, all that I had lived my life for was changed. It was the day I learned that I was pregnant. At a time when I was supposed to be worried about which college I would be playing for, which dress I would wear to the prom, which shoes I wanted to wear in the all-star game, or even which party I was sneaking out to on Friday night, instead I was wondering what in the world I was going to do. I knew that my parents would kill me. My Dad was my biggest fan until the day I told him I was pregnant. The first words I remember him saying were “when are we going to fix this problem?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My dad actually suggested that I have an abortion. My mom didn’t believe in the abortion, so she suggested adoption. My dad argued that I couldn’t carry the baby and deliver it because that would ruin my basketball career. I really couldn’t believe my ears. I mean, I was devastated to find out that I was pregnant, but never once did I see it as a burden. I understood that I was too young to be in that position, but I knew in my heart that I would give one hundred percent of my effort to be the best mother I could be. I was faced with a life altering decision. I could appease my parents and everyone else by having an abortion and playing basketball in college, or I could do what I wanted to do. When I told my parents I was keeping the baby, I was told that it was a mistake and I was ruining my life. My dad said I wouldn’t get another chance to play basketball for a big school again. I was too young to know what I wanted. Without a college education, I would not be able to provide a good life for my baby. But, keeping that baby was the most important thing to me at that moment. My decision to have the baby destroyed my relationship with my dad. But, losing my dad was a small price to pay to get what I wanted in life.
I made a decision as a pregnant teenager to do what made me happy no matter what anyone else thought. I found my true passion in life. I was made to be a mother. I have been proving others wrong for almost nine years now. I have three wonderful sons and a great husband. I continue to chase my dreams everyday. My life did not end on that spring day in 1999, it had only just begun. I found happiness within myself that no one else could ever give to me, and this I believe.
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