This I Believe

Courtney - Kansas City, Missouri
Entered on October 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am a daughter and a sister. I am a wife, a mother, and a friend. I am an employee and a student. These are the predominant roles that I play in the story of my life. Since my childhood, I have embraced many new roles and closed the curtain on others. I believe that these roles in my life define who I am and who I have yet to become. My first role in life was that of a daughter. The lessons I learned as a daughter laid the foundation for the roles I would play later in life. From this I learned what love is, the importance of kindness and respect, dependence, and then later the struggle for independence. My role as a sister was born when I was six, again at twelve, and yet again at fourteen. I carry the title of the “oldest” of four girls. From my three younger sisters, I have learned many things. They have taught me how to argue, how to share, and how to forgive. They schooled me in the art of true camaraderie and the value of family. Every secret, fight, hug, tear, and laugh that I have shared with each of them has become a piece of me. My role as a wife began when I was only seventeen. Looking back twelve years later, it is amazing to me how much we have grown and changed since the day we took our vows. Begin a wife has taught me a multitude of valuable lessons. I have learned the true meaning of being in love, the value of compromise, the power of anger, and the significance of honesty and trust. Just two years after I became a wife I was blessed with the most challenging, yet rewarding role to date. I became a mother, first to a son and then four years later to a daughter. When they came into my life it was as though my heart left my body and began walking around before my very eyes. They have taught me what it is like to be completely vulnerable as I prepare them for a future I cannot predict. From them I have learned unconditional love, empathy, humility, the meaning of hope, pride, and countless other life lessons. My role as friend is one that I take great pride in. From my friends I have learned how to listen, when to give advice, the value of laughter and that shedding a tear is much more therapeutic with a friend.

Finally, as an employee I have learned how to accept criticism, the importance of hard work, and the art of teamwork. In my role as a student I have been taught the value of education, dedication, discipline, and ambition.

The relationships and experiences I have had have exposed my strengths and weaknesses, built my character, and shaped my values and beliefs and for this I am grateful. As the story of my life continues, I believe whatever roles I encompass will bring meaning and definition to my life.