This I Believe

samantha - midlothian, Virginia
Entered on November 30, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Anything You Can Do, I Will Learn Better

Remember as a kid and your mom would drop you off at day care, and that one kid was always screaming his head off and gripping onto his mother? Well that kid wasn’t me. I was the one staring at that kid trying to fathom why he did not want to come and play with the rest of us. Didn’t he know his mom would come back to get him? I have always believed in self reliance.

I think it started at the age of three; my dad taught me how to turn on the T.V. and successfully eat a banana. By fourth grade I wouldn’t even let him make my lunch anymore. Some people assume this fierce independence derives from a bad family situation, but in actuality, I knew I could try all these skills on my own because if I did fail my family would catch me and help build me back up. Accomplishing tasks on my own has brought me great internal power, even at a young age.

I remember carefully watching my parents do everything, hoping that one day I would be just like them. I had a fascination with my mom applying mascara. How did she get that brush to make her eyes look so alive? She would open her eyes really wide and make this weird, almost fish face. I practiced with my colored pencils almost every morning before school. I liked watching my dad cook, especially breakfast. My favorite meal was these special eggs called Pop- Eye eggs. (Its eggs and toast cooked together but the center of the toast is removed, hence pop-eye) The hole in the center of the toast was always perfect and the eggs were cooked with just the right amount of cheese. I couldn’t wait to do these things on my own.

Then, when I was six, the greatest thing happened! I had a baby brother! Someone to practice all my new developing skills on! I changed diapers, gave him baths, changed his clothes, knowing all of these things would help me be more independent.

I think independence carries a great importance because while it’s nice to have people do things for you, you need to know how to do them yourself because somebody might not always be around. Also, I find power from knowing that I can manage on my own. First I picked up blocks in my playroom which escalated to cleaning the whole house, toilets and everything; I still know peers who cannot complete this task. It starts with one small thing, but then adds to something much more important. I brushed my teeth at two but that empowerment gave me the belief in myself to go to college on my own and feel secure today.

Though I have no idea what my future may hold, I know that I will succeed in doing whatever I choose because I have the knowledge inside of myself to cope with things if they get tough or switch a situation if I’m not comfortable in it. If I need help I won’t be afraid to ask, but it’s a great feeling to know I can manage on my own.