This I Believe

Catherine - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: fear

Fear is the feeling you have when you are in danger or expect something bad to happen. People all over the world have fears that affect their everyday lives. Some people may fear driving a car while others may fear just walking across a street. I believe if you conquer your fears, you will have more opportunities to enjoy life.

I, myself, have many fears. I am afraid of cruise ships, sharks and other animals in the ocean, heights, and flying in airplanes. My list of fears keeps growing as I observe more tragedies and come across new obstacles in life. I try my best to overcome my fears, and as a result I have experienced enjoyable times in my life I will never forget.

For instance, one summer my family’s vacation was a cruise from New Orleans, Louisiana to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Cozumel, Mexico. I remember worrying about the trip, refusing to pack my luggage, and asking my parents if I could stay with my grandparents. My parents did not agree with me, and I was forced to go on a vacation I strongly believed I would not enjoy. I did not see the fun in spending a week on a ship among thousands of strangers with the possibility that the ship would sink into the deep ocean filled with sharks. My fear of living at sea for a week was not the only fear I encountered on this vacation. While visiting the Cayman Islands my sisters, who do not fear the sea, wanted to go on a submarine ride. Being afraid to go on a ship that floated above the water, I was terrified to go in a submarine that traveled under the water. After the submarine ride, my sisters begged my parents to sign up for the Sting Ray City excursion. This excursion included snorkeling in the open sea and then feeding the sting rays.

I am proud to say I participated in every activity my family signed up for on this trip. The cruise is by far my favorite summer vacation. I saw the most amazing sites underwater during the submarine ride and while snorkeling. Schools of fish and turtles were only a couple of feet in front of me, and the sting rays swam all around me as I fed them. Overcoming my fears made the vacation even better than I imagined. I became confident and took chances I never would have considered in the past. Although I am still challenged everyday with some degree of fear, I remind myself that I need to face these fears in order to grow and broaden my horizons.