This I Believe

Nathalie - Clarksville, Maryland
Entered on June 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work
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I believe that when you want to reach something in life, you will!

When I was a little child, I tried to do everything and I did not always listen to my parents, especially when they warned me not to do something dangerous. I would climb to the highest point of a playground, I would dance and laugh and just jump around. I was happy to be myself. I had my free will and a lot of dreams, which I tried to make real. I never gave up! Sometimes I just pretended to be a ballerina or to be the best singer in the world, an artist, a gardener, a mountain climber or even a mother of a child while I was playing house.

Now I am 20 years old. Last year, in July 2005, I came from Germany to the United States as an Au Pair. I am living with a host family in Maryland. I left my family and friends behind in Germany and started over, in a new culture, speaking another language and all alone, without knowing anybody. My whole life changed drastically!

I finished school in Mai 2005, and wanted to get to know another culture and improve my English by taking care of children in the U.S. I did not have any expectations; I just left my normal, everyday life to come here, where I am now.

In the U.S. my life became so different. First I felt like a star, everything was so new and wonderful. Then I felt into a big, deep hole. I thought I could never come out again. I got lazy, did not bother to dress up anymore, I wore only leisure clothes, gained 6 kg and lived my life without reaching anything. I did not take care of myself anymore.

One night I felt so upset and did not know what to do. I started praying. Half a year ago I questioned God and my faith; I could not call myself a Christian anymore. This special night, changed my life. I looked in the mirror and saw another person, not myself anymore. I cried and my head almost exploded, because there were so many thoughts that went through my head… I felt asleep.

I had to do something, but I knew I could not change back into the person I was before. So much had happened and it would take a long time to reach all the dreams I have. I tried so hard, but it never worked out. I was frustrated and did not know what was going on in my life. To give you an idea, about what my goals are, let me give you some examples. First I wanted to lose weight and getting active in doing sports again. In the past I danced 14 years ballet and I was riding my bike everyday, inline skated around a huge lake in Germany… Now I am going to the gym, riding my bike to school, instead of driving with my car and I found a lake close by to go inline skating on the weekend or jogging with a friend. Second I wanted to get up early in the morning around 7 o’clock, making my bed, taking a shower and then listen to music and put on some natural make-up. I just questioned myself, what are you doing this for? I tried to force myself to do that and after a while I got used to it. Third I wanted to do something for my knowledge, learn about history and politics, countries and languages, read books (from the beginning to the end, not just stop in the middleJ). I started reading books before I went to bed and bought a newspaper about famous personalities of the world. Fourth to live my life by thinking about what I am doing and which consequences will follow out of my actions. How I talk to friends, how I spend my time and that I enjoy living and look forward into the future what will come next?

This night when I began to pray I recognized that God was closer to me than ever.

He gave me power, strength, and courage and made me smile. The next day I woke up in peace with myself and the environment around me.

I started going to the church again. I enjoyed it, and I look forward to it every Sunday. But what I want you to know is that with God’s help, with him on your side and your faith in him and in yourself, nothing is impossible.

I started changing my life in little steps. I made one step after another, without rushing or getting nervous or frustrated. I worked on what I wanted to reach and I am still getting there. I used my free will; no one made me do that. My friends were not there to change my life; they sweeten it.

My own choice to become a Christian and to live with the knowledge of where I am going and trying to understand what is happening around me opened a new sense of life.

I had to work on myself, but I wanted it so deeply and when you really want to reach something, you will accomplish it.

Just be careful not to want too much in a short period of time. You will get frustrated again. Be content with what you have and what you got.