This I Believe

Adrenna - Cullowhee, North Carolina
Entered on September 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“Forgiving Yourself”

Many people think it is hard to forgive others, but it is twice as hard to forgive yourself. I learned this my junior year of high school when my life became something I threw aside. Looking in the mirror, I no longer recognized the person I stared at. I began drinking and indulging in other drugs with the motivation of fitting in. I also dabbled in other illegal activities to please the new crowd I hung out with. Shoplifting had become the biggest fad and to fit in, I would slip eyeliner into my purse, or some mascara. Afraid of getting caught, my rebellion led me to steal only small things or at least until later on that summer.

Grabbing the biggest purse I could find, I headed out of the house to meet Liz, a girl I met at a party. She became notorious for shoplifting hundreds of dollars worth of clothes successfully. Nervously, I stuffed pounds of clothes into this huge purse, took a deep breath, and walked out of the store. No alarms went off; I was off the hook. I thought I would actually get away with shoptlifting but as my heartbeat returned to normal, store clerks ran up to us asking for the unpaid merchandise. Escorted to the police station, I began my walk of humiliation.

After completing countless hours of community service, I re-analyzed my life and realized that things had to change. I wanted to recognize the girl I looked at in the mirror everyday and most importantly, I wanted to be proud of the person that stared back at me.

I believe in giving yourself a second chance and not regretting your mistakes. Even when you are pushed as far as you can go, you can still change your life. Every mistake made is a chance for change and a new opportunity. I forgave myself, changed my life and eventually found myself. There are times when I wish that I could erase that day, but now after everything, I realized the lessons I learned and the more responsible and mature woman I became, would not exist.