This I Believe

Erin - Staunton, Virginia
Entered on March 21, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that it doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full. What matters is that there is water in the glass to begin with.

I used to consider myself a glass half full type of person. I definitely tried to see the rosier side of things, point out the good in a situation, etc. When I was a junior in college the glass started to look a little emptier. I was struggling with classes, an undiagnosed learning disability, and a relationship gone sour. Then a friend committed suicide. She had lived with me earlier that school year and we had become close, but when she moved home I lost touch with her. I took her death personally. If only I had kept in touch, if we had gone out sometime, the usual things you think about when you lose someone and feel like you should have been able to save them. My life started to short circuit then, depression started, I got more and more behind and I started to give up. The glass was definitely half empty.

Now fast forward…Over the next five years, I dropped out of college, was diagnose with ADD, which explained so much, married my soul mate, had a beautiful baby boy, worked in a theatre and then a library. The glass was starting to look full again as I spent my days sharing reading programs with babies and toddlers and their parents and the enjoying evenings at home with my family. I decided to finish college through the adult degree program at the same liberal arts college where I had started.

Things were going well as I plowed through my courses on the way to graduation, promising myself I would finish this time. More joy and stress was added when my husband and I found out we were expecting in late August of the next year. We started making plans figuring out how we would make things work, picking names, and the usual host of things. Then disappointment struck again as the pregnancy ended unexpectedly and the glass started to empty. I became slightly numb again to the things going on around me, got behind on assignments for school and work, and found out I was 10 credits short of graduation. I was ready to give up. None of it was worth it.

I was trying to take things day by day and not making a very good job of it when inspiration struck – what I thought I was going to have was not as important as what I already had — my family, my friends, living, breathing, and all the basics of life. I decided then that it was not whether the glass was half empty or half full as long as you had water in it. Just be thankful for what you already have and someday it will rain again and you can fill the glass up.