Jaimee - gilbert, Arizona
Entered on December 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in having enthusiasm for life. I know I am guilty of living a part of my life in darkness and sorrow, but who isn’t. I have had many reasons to live in self-pity. If you spent the better part of your teen years scooping ice cream from 9-5 everyday you might be a little bitter too. I would hate for people to think that I feel sorry for myself right now, but at one point in my life I really did feel like life was always going to be miserable, and when I died the misery would continue. There were times when I was so sure that happiness was something that only existed when you were five and you got to play in Ronald McDonald’s playground.

So I loved my life in this state of mind for the better half of my teenage years. I didn’t go so far as to buy cyanide and razor blades and write suicide letters, but I always thought in the back of my mind that everyone was just as miserable as I was, they just hid it better than I did. I remember being in 8th grade and ditching school, and doing things that would make any parent cringe. My thought process was not hopeful or enthusiastic…it was something more along the lines of, “I am going straight to Hell, I hope they have mountain dew there”.

These previous details sum up my dark and bleak years as a distraught young teenager. Perhaps the most interesting part of this story is how I came to love life and stopped feeling sorry for myself. I do not remember all the details of this transformation, but I am about 84% sure it starts with me looking at a brochure for boot camp my mother so conveniently left on my bed when I got home from school one day. I thought my life was bad before, but the idea of being shipped off to boot camp where a series of burley female thugs could get their hands on me woke me up from my pity party really quick. So I ate dinner with my family for the first time in years, and to my shock I enjoyed myself.

That first dinner brought enthusiasm into my life. My new found energy for life allowed me to participate in enjoyable activities without being miserable. I become active in my own life, I took control. Once I realized how much fun life could be I dedicated much of my time to finding fun things to do. I began attending parties and family functions regularly. I never once thought about how my life once was. I love life now, and it hurts me to see other people act how I once did. I watch people live their life in sorrow. I do not even have to speak to these people; their emotions are written on their face. At times I want to wake these people up from their own nightmares and tell them to take the misery out of their life and enjoy the world around them. Of course, it is never that easy though. I want to help these people change their lives, but I feel joy in my life because I helped myself out of my own prison. I had plenty of help from friends and family, but building my own life made me a stronger person. I believe there is enthusiasm built into every life; you just have to go find it.