This I Believe

Paul - Wilsonville, Oregon
Entered on December 5, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

I Believe…

I believe in my choices…The faith that all the choices which I make, good or bad, define who I am and who I will become. This faith causes me to believe that all choices I make, or have made, define me. The things that create experiences which define people are all the choices, decisions, and actions they make. Also I believe that people should be themselves and not try to be other people.

During freshman year I was a stereotypical “rebel” trying not to conform. I didn’t follow any of the rules, when I had the chance. In May of freshman year I hit my peak by skipping a month of school, and then running away to California with a friend. At 2AM we were arrested just north of L.A., they put us in East L.A. Juvy; after about an hour I began to regret choices I had made. At 7PM my parents arrived, they took; me out of Juvy; and back to the hotel were we stayed the night. I got back home and was grounded till November. I regretted that section of my life greatly.

My sophomore year I dressed in the almost “normal” range. I still tried to rebel until the end of the school year. About finals time I got the idea that I shouldn’t fight against the “system” but I should instead infiltrate it, and cause the most damage possible. So I acted better, didn’t get in much trouble, but all of my intentions were to damage the disgusting conformity of it all.

During junior year I began to wonder: ‘Why rebel?’, ‘What could be gained from trying to damage a “system” that’s given me so many chances?’

Later in junior year I began to comprehend that the horrible part about this “system” isn’t that people conform, because it’s impossible not to, but that people throw away they’re individuality by trying to be other people. Because no matter how much they try, they will always be themselves.

Near the end of junior year I began to wonder: ‘If I regret any choices I’ve made, or any choices I’ll make, how can I like the person I am?’ If I wish so much to change the past then that means: I’m not happy with who I am now. So I’ve decided to accept all my prior choices but at the same time strive to make better ones; and to begin being me, not the obsessive anti-conformist I used to be.

I have come to accept myself and even like myself. Though I made unfortunate choices in the past and I tried to damage the “system” I believe that if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have come to this level of maturity and belief. If I had never gone through all that I believe I would be the same person I am now.