This I Believe

Allison - Sugarland, Texas
Entered on December 5, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that anything is possible. Anything. It’s just a matter of what you are willing to give up to get it.

When I was a junior in high school, I longed to be an officer on my dance team. I wanted it more than anything. Tryouts were a grueling yearlong process in which the candidates participated in various leadership building experiences, dance tryouts, and interviews. The entire school year I tried to be the perfect dancer and leader. I had convinced myself that I was giving the highest level of dedication possible to this endeavor, that I could give no more of myself, and that I could be satisfied in my effort because it was the best I had to give.

This yearlong process meant that I could not change my life-style for a week of tryouts, as would someone who was cramming for an upcoming test. I had to live it for a whole year and make sure that all of the other things that were important to me were not being neglected for this one goal. When my mom made cookies on a Sunday afternoon, I would bake with her. When my best friend threw a Halloween party, I spent time shopping for “Fantana” costumes with my friends. I woke up for church on Sunday mornings and set aside time each day to praise God. When Student Council elections came around, I made campaign posters and was elected to office. I went to Sonic to eat chilidogs and fresh fruit slushes with my friends. I went jogging with my dog Penny daily. I lived.

When the final day of tryouts came, I was a nervous wreck. This meant everything. The directors handed each candidate an envelope, and my fingers clamped down on my fate. I had given my everything to this, or so I thought. I didn’t have to read the letter to know that I didn’t make it. The words, “it was a very difficult decision” shouted painfully at me from the rainbow stationary.

Was it because I didn’t give my best that I didn’t make it? No. I thought I wanted to be officer more than anything else, but that was not the whole picture. What I wanted more was life. I wanted to squeeze everything out that I possibly could. I didn’t make officer because I couldn’t give everything up. I could have taken private lessons, but I wanted to bake with my mom. I could have spent time learning interview skills from a professional, but I preferred hanging out with my friends. I could have sucked up to my directors, been buddies with the judges, or spent my time doing every possible and countless thing to fulfill what I thought was the desire of my heart, but only if I had given up my life, given up the things I love the most.

When I am disappointed or down because I didn’t quite realize my goals, I know it is because I didn’t want it more than anything else. I’m not willing to give up everything for it, and that’s good. Whether it is family, friends, faith, or fun, I know that some things are not worth sacrificing. I can have the desires of my heart, but maybe it is not always what I think. The desire of my heart is to have balance, to have fulfillment, to live and love. You can have anything you want, it’s just a matter of what you are willing to give up. This I believe.