The pursuit of happiness

Nida - Worcester, Massachusetts
Entered on December 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: forgiveness

Opportunities are hard to find, but once you do than you cannot let go. There is no going back or changing your mind. Second chances simply do not exist. I disagree. I believe that second chances are essential to life and are much more important than the first ones. People learn from their mistakes, and in order to improve on them, second chances are a must.

Looking back, my life was a lesson learned. I was ten years old when things in my family simply changed. My parents were arguing and every time it became unbearable my dad would say to my mom, “Please, give me a second chance.” Somehow, that was repeated over and over again. Finally, my dad learned and now, he thanks my mother for the many chances she gave him.

I was too young to know that second chances meant everything sometimes. My best friend in Albania, Jozefina, was like a sister to me. We never fought or argued about things until one day when I met new people, and forgot about her. I was out with my new friends every night and did not realize that Josefina needed my help. She was dating someone who was abusive and much violent with her. She was only fifteen, and going back to Albania every summer and visiting her was just not enough.

“I never meant to be so cold” – I told her. She looked into my eyes and just stared. She was not crying but the opposite, her eyes were wide open, crystal clear and much solid and determined. I asked for forgiveness and without questioning, she gave it to me. I remember her words: “Everyone deserves a second chance. What kind of a friend would I be if I just let you walk out of my life from one mistake?”

Jozefina’s words stuck with me for the next upcoming years. I finally understood that second chances did not always mean disaster. I learned that because you make a mistake ones, does not mean you are bound to repeat it again. I was given a second chance many times. I was given a second chance at living. I moved to the U.S in 2002 and for me it was horrifying. Once the years passed by I finally realized that maybe this was a good thing, that I was supposed to live a better life, even though my family was separated by thousands of kilometers.

Now, I look back and regret those times when I never gave someone a second chance. My future could have been different. I feel like I was locking a part of me so deep inside and never wanting it to get out. I was afraid to be myself and be understanding. I remembered all the memories of the boyfriend who cheated, or the friend who betrayed me and I wondered, would my life have been different if magically I had forgiven all of them? Absolutely yes. I am not saying that forgiving is easy because if I did then I would be lying. My essay simply states one thing: Second chances are possible and when you find it deep in your heart to make them happen then you have achieved true happiness.