This I Believe

Te - laguna hills, California
Entered on March 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Every morning, I see kids walk towards the high school that is across from my apartment. Though it wasn’t that long ago I was one of them, but now that I live on my own as a college student, that carefree life seems forever away. Recently, I got into an car accident, so while my car is in the shop, I have to take the bus at times to go to school. One hot afternoon at the bus stop, I saw two elderly women from the senior center a block away waiting for the bus too. The sun was burning, and I felt sorry for the old ladies. And I realize, I would really not want to, but could end up just like that. I started to think about where are their kids, and what they did when they were younger, and how did they end up here. Then I thought about, what about me? Is here where I want to be in life? And I said yes to myself because I always believed to take my fate in my own hands.

When I was in high school, I had many friends who didn’t think they could do what they wanted to do, instead, they applied to all the UC schools, and see where they could get to from there. One of my best friends who started swimming when she was five years old gave up because she didn’t think she would make it big in the athlete world, it was hard to believe that 13 years of training never had a chance to become something. I on the other hand, applied only for one school, because that’s where I wanted to be. I probably should’ve applied to other schools just in case, but I worked hard, and I was determined that I would make it. Sure we can’t and probably shouldn’t always gamble, or take chances in everything, however, we should have opinions and take charge.

I know nothing valuable comes easily, as my stepfather would use to tell me. He said half the fun in life is to overcome obstacles and the rewards would be that much sweeter. I hated the days when I had nine-hour day of drawing and paint classes during the summer. While everyone I know was having fun, I sweated in the studio, painting the boring still lives over and over again. Then school started, besides regular school work, I had to do number of sketches every day, to keep up the skills. Sometimes, I just want to quite, or go do anything else besides drawing. For roughly two years I almost stopped completely, instead I dedicated myself to band just to runaway. Lucky my mom pushed me to continue even just a little and never stop. At the end of the day, I was always exhausted but satisfied knowing they were all worth the efforts, because they will bring me one step closer to where I want to be.

Life of course is complicated, and many different things could bring us down, like our family, our friends, and our loves. When I found out someone who was very close and was more than just a friend had lied to me about everything, I broke down. I was miserable for days, even weeks, for all I wanted to do was runaway, to hide, and to never face anything. I didn’t want to tell my mom about it because I didn’t think she would understand, I didn’t think anyone would, but then she said, “ Remember this, no matter how dark the night is, morning will always come.” It sounds cheesy, but oh so very true. It pulled me through the sadness. Others can offer as much help as you want, but eventually, you are the one who have to do the passing through. You can have all the friends be with you, but you are the only one who is tasting the bitterness. Like one of my favorite quote, “no matter how hurt you are, the world will not stop and mourn with you. ” It’s all up to yourself.

I look back on those depressing days, and those tedious practices, I am now grateful for they are the reason I have what I have, and that I am who I am. Now, whenever my classmates or teacher compliments on my work, I can genuinely be proud, because I know I earn every bit of it, and that feels better than anything.

I know every single one of us has a dream, or at least, had a dream. Many of us grew up and gave up the dream simply because we didn’t think we were “meant to be”. Who is to determine who is meant to do anything? All the fabulous life we see those “other people” lead didn’t come because they were “meant to be”, but because they took a chance, worked hard, and gave everything they’ve got to be where they are. Dreams can be silly, and maybe when you when reach where you think you want to be, it’s not all that. But you know you won’t regret it, because you at least get to see what it’s like. If you just let life or whatever pushes you around, and go with the flow, then all you have left is to spend the rest of your life wondering what it could’ve been like. And personally I think that sucks.

Chances are only for those who are ready and are able to make something out of it. Life is what you make of it, not a ride to hop on and see where it goes. Perhaps we can’t control every aspect of our lives, but look back at the footprints of our journey, we’ll find that we walked where we are now. We made choices, right or wrong, so we should be willing to the outcomes. We shouldn’t complain about life, shouldn’t complain about the bad situations that we are in, because we made them happen. Like currently I have my car in the shop for over a month because of a car accident, I can’t complain the fact that I have difficulties get to places, because I got myself into this mess. Ultimately, we just have to take actions to make things right, or to work around it. Nothing should stop us from what we want to be, because we are fate to do what we want to do, and this, I believe.