I Believe In Being Open

Arielle - Washington Township, New Jersey
Entered on February 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in being open.

Being honest and true to myself ensures that I won’t experience regret or remorse. Dissatisfaction comes with bottling up your feelings, so unscrew the cap and let it all out!

When I was five years old, I lost my grandfather. I was too young to understand what had happened; all I knew was that Grandpa Irving wasn’t coming for visits anymore.

Then, at age 13, my other grandfather passed away. He was old, but I knew he had more life to live and that upset me. My parents tried to shelter me from his sickness while he was alive, and in death, I realized that I was not only angry with them, but with him as well.

He had two children, my mother and my uncle, but somehow, only managed to make the trip from Florida to Long Island to visit his other grandchildren (apparently New Jersey was just too far). On the rare occasion that he and my grandmother did visit us, I was so happy to be spending time with them that I never mentioned my frustration and pain.

With Grandpa Hy’s death, I became more aware of these feelings. Regret overwhelmed me, and I knew it was too late to do anything. Had I just opened my mouth one time to share my feelings with them, I wouldn’t feel like I had just lost a relative I hardly knew.

The moment he died I promised myself that I’d be open about my emotions. I didn’t want to lose another stranger in my family, so I made sure my parents were aware of what I was going through. We began visiting Florida to spend time with my grandmothers, and tried to set up dinners with my cousins. When it was time for Grandma Sarah to leave us, I felt sadness rather than regret and anger. I was no longer frustrated by not knowing a family member, but truly upset over her death.

It’s tough to let people in during difficult times, but the initial fear leads to freedom. Freeing my opinions allowed me to make my hopes become reality. By sharing my beliefs, others respect me and my wishes. There’s no way to make your wishes possible without actually opening myself to the world.

I believe that the secret to life lies in being true to myself and those around me.