This I Believe

Yesenia - Montgomery, Illinois
Entered on June 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: prejudice

Values are the things we believe in or find important to some degree. How you enforce those values is all up to you. Growing up is a big responsibility. Obstacles and responsibilities will always be present. For some it may be easy, and for others it is not as easy. Many don’t even recall how they became who they are, today. As for me, I still remember. I remember a moment of my past like it was yesterday. That moment was the turning point of my life. We all need to grow up at one point or another. We need to show who we really are; not what people want us to be. However, I learned that the hard way.

My name is Yesenia Amador. I live in Montgomery, IL. I lived smack down the middle of my past and my future. I was stuck in a position where the right decisions needed to be made. I wanted to move on. I felt like a piece of gum stuck fresh on the bottom of a desk. When someone tried to take the gum off, some still remained in its past location. That’s how my life was. I remember not being able to get over the fact that I moved from Aurora “the ghetto” to Oswego “the country.” Maybe on my behalf it was a snap of ignorance: not knowing that life moves on. Unfortunately, what did I know at such a stage? I was in a stage where I hadn’t grown up. I was oblivious. As you go through obstacles of life, you continue to grow. As you go through those obstacles you find out what you truly believe in.

I started my freshmen year in a high school I knew nothing about. I only dragged myself to school daily, because I was forced to. I hated school, and the only reason I accomplished to continue was because of me. I did it to better myself, yet prove everyone wrong. Coming from a school that has mainly Hispanics and going to a school that has mainly Caucasians was devastating. It was not because I was racist, but because I was being discriminated against for being the ethnicity that I am. I can’t change the color of my skin or where I came from. Those are the types of things that we have no control of. I never knew how much people were so ignorant, and yes, that was my first time I used that word. You would think that Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the right to be equal, meant something; yet they said’ “Who is that?” I had never felt like an outcast in my life. I heard comments like, “Go back where you came from…” and “Spick” followed by other obscene language. There was even the K.K.K. I know many would not think so, yet that is what happens. This all happened inside and outside the walls of school. I felt lost. I know my parents did not know what I was going through. I knew so because they thought the reason of me being so angry was because I wanted to stay in Aurora. Partially that was true; however, I tried to give Oswego a chance.

Over the years I continued to stay in school. I had thought many times of dropping out, but still wanted to achieve my goal. I believe that equality is created by the people; not the law that says whether you are right or wrong. I believe in order to change the discrimination it starts with being aware of what really is going on. I may have struggled myself, but I always kept to myself. I decided to graduate early for those solemn reasons. In my last days, there was a fashion show being held. They did a draw on who was going to be models in the show; both boys and girls were invited. In the classroom we were all separated in two. I looked around at one yet disappointment of why I was ready to leave. I decided to make a fool of myself and sit on the adjacent side: the one side of the room that was mainly Caucasian. Everyone made comments on why I went over there. I heard giggles coming from the left; and secrets coming from the right. After all I still remained seated in my chosen position. It was a matter of seconds when everyone just got up and mixed. It felt as if we were all trained. I thought the bell had rung; causing everyone to get up. As I came to realize, I stayed in place. Everyone was talking to people whom they did not know or ever dreamed of talking to. It was awkward, yet pleasing. I was proud of myself. I had found my reason for being in this world, even if it was that split second. It did take me four yeas to accomplish that moment. I didn’t even know that was my goal or what I believed. It just happened. I call those snap moments little-biggie moments. If I could accomplish a little-biggie moment, than anyone can accomplish one too. There is no reason not to.

The things you find important in life are the things we believe in, yet the things we believe in are our core values. I believe in happiness; no one should ever live deprived. I believe in being treated like humans – even the weird people like me. We should live our daily lives and obstacles with no regrets whatsoever. I believe in not hanging on to our past, and preparing for the future. I believe that everything we do is for ourselves – not to please others. I believe in independence; I believe that every man, woman, and being can be independent. I remember my past only to better today. It is a matter of screaming out to the world – even if the world seems not to listen. Just know by telling your stories and beliefs you may spark ignorance, which results in understanding. You are in this world for a reason; take the time to figure out what your reasoning is. You can always do so by telling or showing others what you truly believe in.