This I Believe

Kimberly - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: children
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“Those Blueberry Eyes”

I believe in a chance. As I stare into my nephew’s big blueberry-colored eyes, I can sense his innocence and eagerness. I go to see him as often as I can and enjoy every moment we spend together. He brings out the kid in me and I cherish those moments that I share with him. He came into my life twenty-two months ago and I was one of the first to greet him. He has changed me and everyone else he comes into contact with. His freedom and lack of responsibility intrigues me and I do not ever want him to grow up.

I believe we all deserve a chance, a chance to live out our childhood and adolescence with no constraints, with the exception of rules provided by our parents. I believe that I should be able to make my own decisions and not be judged for the choices that I make. I can only hope that my nephew will be able to do the same. I continue to live my life without ever knowing what to expect, and I like it. Predictability is boring and I enjoy living my life one day at a time.

My mother was the strict authoritarian parent while my father was far too busy with work. I was always expected to excel and was bombarded with piano, English, Korean, and writing lessons. It was important to stay on a schedule and be the best. There was never any time for play and if the opportunity did arise, I had to complete all of my assignments first. I thought my parents’ divorce would help my situation, but it only made it worse.

I lived my life in a routine for four long years even without my mother’s strict schedule. After their divorce I was sent to continue my high school career at a military boarding school in Northern Virginia. It was the most devastating experience I have ever had to endure. I could never quite grasp why any parent would think that was where their child should be. There was a time to do everything, I was even told what to wear. There was a uniform for every occasion and I was never once allowed to wear what I chose unless I was in the confine of my dormitory room. The structure that the school tried to provide only destroyed my adolescent innocence. All the decisions were made for me and I had no choice in the matter. I felt like a prisoner doing time for a crime I did not commit.

Graduation day was the most joyous occasion for me. I was ready to head into the world with open arms and experience everything that I could. I had the opportunity to travel and soak up many different cultures and it has molded me into the person that I am today.

Those blueberry eyes have made me believe in the importance of a chance to live out a childhood. I find it to be important for children to be children and explore the world around them. It is imperative for him to discover who he is and to not allow anyone to shatter his innocence. Through my many experiences attending the boarding school and seeing my nephew, I realize that I cannot change the past and can only hold my experiences as knowledge for my future.