This I Believe

Jessica - Indianola, Iowa
Entered on September 13, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe I can be okay with myself and who I am. I believe I can live for today, and not dwell on my past or who I think I should be in the future. This revelation came after many years of questioning my inner self.

Personal flaws have been the keeper of my freedom my entire life. Yearning to be that perfect older child, with good grades, a top athlete, and being a responsible citizen and family member were all pieces I wanted to uphold. Prior to now, I didn’t realize I had flaws, or I used my flaws as excuses for the betterment of my future. Now, I realize I have compulsions, or actions I do to step away from things when they aren’t going perfectly.

These compulsions mask my insecurities, insecurities that often take over my daily life. Trust, using “what if” instead of “why not,” and over-worrying about the future are all issues I needed to learn to deal with in becoming who I am today. But who isn’t to say that these molded me into someone I now like, and want to be? There were times when I was someone I didn’t want to be, having issues with eating when things weren’t going according to the master plan. But now, I can finally look and me and say I like who I am, not who I should be.

I think this is a major issue for me and in society today. So much focus on the future put pressure on me. Today, I can look in the mirror, and not question my decisions on the basis of my future, because today I am living for me, just as I will do the same tomorrow.

Much of this came to me through my fiancé. He lives in the moment, each day new and different. I’ve learned I can’t control my future as much as I would like to, but I can control my day to day activity and how I look at myself. My fiancé has to deal with the loss of his mother and sister on a day to day basis. It’s been very hard for me to be strong for him, even though I have never met these two individuals. One day I asked him how he has handled such losses in his life and still managed to live in the moment, not dwelling on past events or worrying about another loss in the future.

He replied, “I can’t dwell on things I can’t control. I love you for whom you are today, and tomorrow I will love you just the same, but differently, because each day you bring me so much happiness.”

That’s when I realized life is good, and I like me. Yes, I will admit it, although it might seem arrogant. So whatever I decide to do today, and tomorrow, and 20 years from now, at least I will know I am living in the moment, loving me.