This I Believe

Meera - Tracy, California
Entered on October 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

As a six year old in Ringwood, New Jersey, I remember Barbie being my whole world, wanting to grow up to be a Barbie, have a car like Barbie, have a house like Barbie, have hair like Barbie, have a body like Barbie, have perfect skin like Barbie, be perfect, like Barbie. The movies, TV shows and commercials alike consumed me. I loved Barbie, that is, up until nearly seven years later and 3000 miles away, in Tracy, California when my 8th grade math teacher asked us to do a project. The assignment was to build a replica of something exactly three times the dimensions and weight of that object. Considering we only had one week to do to project, Barbie wasn’t the first object that came to mind, that was too much math, I settled on a die. On the Wednesday after we received the project, a kid came into class and being that we were eighth graders, shared with us that if Barbie were life size she’d be six four and have a thirteen inch waist. It was at this moment that I realized that I would never be that perfect Barbie Doll I played with. In fact, no one I knew or would ever come to know would attain the perfect plastic look of my Barbie Doll because Barbie was in fact that, plastic, something lifeless. My dream of being Barbie perfect ended there but still being naïve, perfection, in all other meanings of the word, was still something I sought, until this past year, my sophomore year of high school, when a much loved math teacher let me in on a secret of the real world. Our mistakes are what make us human, we learn from them and they help us to better ourselves in the future. I now believe that it is our mistakes that are what makes us perfect as humans and as people. There is no one perfect that exists on earth, no one that has never made a mistake and no one that ever will. Mistakes are a fact of life and we can choose to learn from them and accept them or ignore them and attempt to chase after something that has been proved time and time again can never be achieved and in fact, doesn’t exist.