This I Believe

Jessica - Aurora, Illinois
Entered on March 16, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks
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I believe that pain is required for life’s best lessons.

Growing up, not privileged (financially) or under-privileged, I always believed that if bad things did not happen to me during my childhood, then my adult life would indefinitely be overflowing with struggle and strife. Why did I believe that pain was chasing me and attempting to take away the “you can be anything you want if you put your mind to it” philosophy? I’m still not too sure. I believe it has something to do with the fact that the world is a scary place, negativity is addictive and it is more common to hear of murder, raping and kidnappings than to hear about the latest successful fundraiser for cancer victims research (because this would not make as great of ratings as American Idol, a musical cult).

Now, at the “old” age of twenty-two, I realize that pain comes in different shapes and sizes. I have had my own personal pain, but just not as dramatically expressed in the movies or on television. Senior year in high school I learned I was pregnant, with my now, four year old daughter, Mia. The pain I felt about not going away to college, partying to the wee hours was almost unbearable for a self-involved, underachieving, spoiled girl. In this pain I learned that I had been given the greatest gift ever. Someone whose well-being I am responsible for. Someone who will surely make me proud and indefinitely give me pain.

All in all, I believe there is not always time to prepare for pain, but there is time to learn from it. Now, I have the “pain” of watching my daughter experience the same, but ultimate truth about life. I know she will someday understand because I am her living example. At the end of my days, I just want to hear God say, “Well done, in your pain you have learned a lot and remembered to let me guide you through, now come on in and let all of the pain go.” That is what I believe.