This I Believe

Carolin - Des Moines, Iowa
Entered on January 29, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in this one sentence “Wenn du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein Lichtlein her” (When you think, things have come to an end, there will come a light from somewhere) from the poem “Hoffnung” (Hope) by Roswitha Rudzinski. This poem states that there are sometimes bad times in life, but one should never lose faith in hope; there will be solutions and better times.

In general, I am not the type of person who believes in poetry and common statements like “Never give up,” “Always do your best and work hard,” and “Be yourself”. The sentence I believe in might seem or sound like one of those common statements too, but for me it’s not; it’s different. I really started to believe in it in the last few years because it has helped me a lot since then. It pretty much all started with my dream to do an exchange year, which I had forever. I applied immediately when I was old enough to do so, but it wasn’t that easy because such a year is expensive and my parents couldn’t afford it on their own. My grandma offered help and everything seemed fine. But then, the day before Christmas, she called and told me that she couldn’t support me and didn’t give me any reason for her decision. Maybe you can imagine how bummed I was because I had already been accepted at an organization, two of my friends and my best friend went, everyone was excited, and then my dream ended with a single telephone call. I was really down after that, but then I thought about this sentence: “Wenn du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein Lichtlein her” that I had heard so much when I was a little kid. I don’t even remember where I know it from; I just know it. The ‘light’ that came to me was my best friend who brought me a newspaper article about a really interesting scholarship. At first, I thought that it would be impossible to get it, but I tried it anyways because what could I loose? In the end, all the hard work that was associated with the application paid off because seven months later I received it. I couldn’t believe it because my dream became true.

Now, I am here in the United States, and it’s awesome, but an exchange year definitely has its ups and downs. Sometimes there are minutes, hours or days where I don’t feel good, I am just down, and everything frustrates me. Of course, these moments exist in life, but the moments or situations I mean are especially those that you experience or go through when you are an exchange student. For example, my brother at home became extremely sick and no one knew what was wrong with him. He went to different hospitals and had to stay there for a while until they finally figured out what was going on. The worst part for me was that I couldn’t do anything for him from over here, and sometimes I just wanted to be with him. I have the feeling that I have two lives going on; my new life here, and my old one in my home country, and both have their own problems. Sometimes it was just too much and it made me sad. But then, one day my mom sent me an email with this one sentence in it: “Wenn du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein Lichtlein her”. This was kind of like a wake-up call for me, and I thought, “well yeah, you are right”, I have to make the best out of my exchange year because I wanted this year so much, and I couldn’t change that my brother was sick anyway. I know that he will get better; there will be a ‘light’ coming for him, too. I started to enjoy my time here again and things turned out better, even for my brother.

Sometimes this ‘light’ will come quickly in the day it’s needed, and sometimes it takes longer. It doesn’t have to be something huge, like a wish that comes true. It’s the small ‘lights’ that warm up hearts and give hope. I know I can’t choose the ‘light’ but what I can do is believe in it. For me, it’s a motivation, and it makes me feel better. It’s just a sentence from a poem and sometimes I think it’s crazy that it has such an impact on me and my life, but it has shown me its power.

This I believe!