I was alone. Just six days after my high school graduation and there I was, standing alone. My parents and twin sister had dropped me off on top the mountain were I was to spend the rest of my summer with 45 people that I didn’t know, not to mention the hundreds of others that were to come and go.
My position was to be a camp counselor, where I was supposed to help kids adjust to camp life and get over their home sickness, but the question I was trying to figure out was could I get over mine? I missed my family and friends. They were all the way in Nebraska and there I was in Colorado.
One sunny day about a week into camp, I got the call. Family issues, major family issues. Who was I supposed to go to? Then it hit me. I had to turn to myself, there was no one else. I had to look inside myself and find a strength I never had to use before.
It was definitely not easy. There were nights of tears and days when I just wanted go home. I hated it. I had no one to turn to, no one to talk to about it, no one to listen, I was alone. I told myself over and over, “You can do this, just be strong.” I tried as hard as I could to believe those words, until one day I got another call. It was my mom, finally a familiar voice, and she told me that things were better and that I had nothing to worry about anymore.
Relief filled me. I knew that I no longer had to worry about what was going on at home and I could now focus on my campers and building relationships with my co-workers. Then I realized that I had made it through this by myself. It was a great feeling to know that I had accomplished something through a hard time.
I believe in being alone, because in our loneliness we are shown how valuable our relationships really are. Being alone shows us the strength we have within ourselves, because when no one else is there, you are the only person you can lean on. It also shows you that you can do big things by yourself.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.