This I Believe

Julie - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity

I believe in leaving a good impression. A simple smile, compliment or hug has the power to change a life. Your last impression is your last chance to make someone’s day. But it is your choice how you use it. Your last impression gives you hope.

Impressions meant nothing to me until my sophomore year of high school. Before, impressions were my reaction to someone’s attitude. Now, I realize that last impressions aren’t just the hugs but are the love and memories that come into my mind. I left everything that was familiar to me during the summer, from my best friends and my teammates to the children I babysat for down the street. When I left I planned trips to visit in hope of not forgetting my past. I never said good-bye.

When leaving people it is never a simple “good-bye” but a “see you later.” It was my last time babysitting before I moved. I had to prepare the dinner and put the children to bed. The youngest child went to bed first. His tired body held onto me for security as I carried him up the stairs. I placed him in his crib and handed him his tattered blanket and sippy cup of milk. He cried in exhaustion as I whispered, “I promise I will visit.” I slowly closed his door and walked downstairs. I never said good-bye. That was my last moment with him. My last promise.

A year later, half way through my sophomore year, the news spread to me. The adorable baby boy died. I never said good-bye

I didn’t visit like I promised. This boy made me re-think all of my promises and see-you-laters. I wanted another chance. Another chance for a simple smile, compliment or hug. I wanted to say good-bye. I realize that the past is unchangeable. But my hope is to move on, remembering my past but looking towards my future.

Promises are hard to keep when you don’t know what will happen in the future. So don’t hold on to your promises to return but on the last impression that you gave. Remember to say good-bye. I believe in leaving a good impression.