This I Believe

Katie - 45248, Ohio
Entered on November 3, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

July 7, 2004 was a typical summer day in Cincinnati. It looked like a beautiful day, but as soon as you walked outside, you could taste the humidity. I had spent the day being pretty lazy…nothing really out of the ordinary in the summer. But, it wasn’t an ordinary day. My older brother and I had noticed that my mom was acting a little depressed, and out of concern for her, we wanted to know why. All we knew was that her and my dad had gotten into a huge fight the night before, but we didn’t think anything of it because it was quite common in our household at the time Around 7 o’ clock that evening, my mom sat me and my older brother down with a serious face and told us everything/ She had told us that she had made some mistakes and that her and my dad were getting a divorce. From that moment on, my life changed. Everything I knew and was comfortable with flip flopped and turned upside-down. I was thirteen at the time, and I ran through a variety of emotions. At first, I was just mad. I was mad at my parents for all of the mistakes they made to get to the point that they couldn’t stay married, and I was mad at them because it seemed like they didn’t even try to work things out. Most of all, I was angry with myself because I was naïve enough to think that a divorce would never happen to myself, and I blamed myself for contributing to the divorce because of all the selfish things I had done in the past. But then, all my anger turned into sadness and it took a really long time to get past all of the pain. I often look back and compare the person that I was with the person I am today. I look and I wonder what kind of person I would be if the divorce never happened. I honestly think I would be a totally different person.

Before the divorce, I really didn’t try to be the most altruistic, giving, and kind-hearted person in the world. I took life for granted and was looking out for myself. But since it, I try my best to be the best person I can be, and I try my absolute hardest to be there for the people I love. So, my primary belief in life is to live life to the fullest and to live with no regrets.

You never know what the future will throw at you. There is no crystal ball that will tell where you or the ones you love will be ten years from now. If someone told me when I was thirteen that in the next two years of my life I would have divorced parents and move six times, I would have looked at them and laughed. But, the simple fact is, that I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, and that everyday is a gift. It took a divorce and a lot of time to realize the importance of life, and I hope that it doesn’t take something dramatic and painful for others to realize the gift. I believe that living your life to the fullest will ensure a happy life, a life that is a gift not only to yourself, but to the people around you. Live each day as your last.