This I Believe

Brandon - Washington DC, District of Columbia
Entered on January 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

Unpredictable. Let’s face it, that’s what life is; just plain old unpredictable. Some people including me like the idea of waking up in the morning, getting out of bed, and not knowing what in the world is going to throw at them that day, what challenges might arise, and what unexpected surprises might come about. If something terrible does happen however, I know not to sweat it because no matter how bad it may be, it just presents another challenge and obstacle for me to try to work through. I believe in making the best of a situation, no matter what it is.

By doing this, I can make sure that I’m not down in the dumps, and that I can have a positive outlook on life. One summer, I woke up like any other day. I washed up, brushed my teeth, ate breakfast, and then went out to play basketball with some friends. A close game heading into the third quarter, I was giving my best until I stuck out my left hand to block a ball, jamming and breaking my thumb. I got a cast put on it, rendering my left hand useless. No big deal right? Well no more than a week later, I was playing catch with a football using my one good hand, my right one. As fate would have it, I jammed and broke my right pinky badly, finding my right hand now in a cast as well. As expected, having both hands wrapped in casts can make everyday activities like showering quite difficult.

Knowing that the only thing I could do to help my broken fingers was to merely wait for them to heal, I decided to make the best of my situation, doing more of what I was still able to do like playing soccer, or getting ahead on some of my summer reading. Instead of just missing the things I used to be able to do like play sports, I had fun taking my mind off the injuries, keeping a positive attitude, and just living my life while making the best of my situation. For this reason, I was not even upset when three days after breaking my pinky, I fell out of the bed of an industrial sized pick-up truck moving thirty miles an hour on a swerving cement road. I was not seriously injured, so I made due with what I had, and was grateful to be alive.

As much as I was dedicated to keeping a positive outlook on my life, this kind of thinking was very difficult for me to maintain for the long period of time I was injured. Being impaired like I was, I was constantly reminded of what I didn’t have, or what I couldn’t do anymore when going about my daily business. I tried being as happy as my friends were, but I was forcing it on myself, while they were genuinely happy messing around and having fun. Since the idea of their happiness was continually shoved right in my face whenever I would watch them play sports and such, I began to do down a dark path. I began to do what I vowed not to: I was resenting my situation, being jealous of others, wanting what I couldn’t have, and asking what ifs. At the time, I was at a summer camp which I have spent my summer for the past ten years. Since the camp is primarily a sports camp, I was always so excited to go for the summer, since it was the one place I could play every sport known to man as much as I wanted. Being injured, the hardest thing to deal with was the fact that every day I recuperated was another day of sports lost until next year.

That’s it. I had had enough of this negative thinking. It was starting to bring me down, and if I let it take hold of me, then I would be pulled down deeper and deeper into a pit of depression. I knew that I needed the strength to accept the things I cannot change. By finally realizing that there are always going to be some unchangeable things in life, I was vindicated of all of my negative thoughts, and able to think positively and make the best of what I still had. Heck, it could have been much worse. Making the best of a situation keeps me in a good mood, and makes sure I don’t dwell on the things I cannot change. This I believe.