This I Believe

Maria - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Sometimes, during life, I feel trapped. I feel as if I’m stuck in a never ending cycle where everyday is the same. I wake up, go to school, come home, do homework, and then go to bed. And guess what? The next morning it just starts all over again. Sometimes I even find myself wondering if there is any purpose to my life, any meaning in anything I do.

But there is. Every day is an opportunity to expand knowledge, to meet someone new, or to simply share a good laugh with an old friend. I believe in living for the moment and striving to get the most out of each opportunity.

I realized in middle school that I can’t try to “wish” away my life. Often, I would find myself saying, “Oh I wish it could be Friday,” or “wow, if only I were 16, I could drive!” And then the week or the year would seem even longer.

I’ll never forget my 6th grade math teacher. She was an adorable older lady who seemed to hold an answer to every question in the world. One day, during a conversation after class, I stepped forward and asked her a question I’d had since the beginning of the year. “If you could live your life all over again, what is the one thing you would change?”

She looked me straight in the eye and said softly, “I would give life my everything. I’d appreciate that I only have one chance to live and I’d enjoy every minute of every day before they become limited.”

Ever since then, I’ve realized that she’s right. I’ve realized that nothing is eternal, and that even if I ate healthy, stayed fit, and took medication, I’d still die eventually. Why spend my limited days in a bland cycle where I feel like a robot, simply trying to make it to tomorrow? Life is so much more than that.

So instead of trudging through the halls at school, I decided to skip. Instead of staring at the floor tiles, I turn my head and smile at a new face next to me. I figure, what is there to lose?

Sometimes I fall down. Sometimes I feel like there isn’t anything left to keep striving for and that there is nothing to break me out of my endless cycle. But then my 6th grade teacher pops into my head and I grin, washing away all feelings of doubt. I just picture her saying, “This is YOUR life. How’s it going?”

I believe that life is full of meaning; but I just have to live to the fullest in order to find it.