This I Believe

Erik - Ventura, California
Entered on March 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in always looking on the bright side of life and seeing the happiness in times of peril and depression. As a teen of fifteen years old, I can honestly say that I have had more than my fair share in troubles in my life. Probably more than most kids my age. Up until recently, I’ve always looked at the negative and completely overlooked the good that’s come out of it.

A rather negative “chain of events” started around November of 2000, a month after I turned nine. My father was injured at work. I came home to hear the news. I was completely heartbroken. I just started crying because I hated seeing my family in pain. The doctors said that he’d be alright and would be back to work in a few months. Up to this day I constantly wonder what life would be like if it were true. My father’s physical condition worsened, and now he can’t even stand up straight. I admit that I sometimes even cry just looking at him because I know how much pain he’s in. But I have recently begun to notice the positive in all of this. I now have a father who can actually spend time with me and the rest of my family instead of being at work from the early morning until the late afternoon. I have enjoyed many things having him here. Whenever I begin to wonder what life would be like if he had not gotten injured, and I realize that I would probably not be as close to him as I am today, and for that I am truly grateful.

Throughout this chain of events, other things have happened, big and small, negative and positive at the same time. Last summer, my cousin died of a drug overdose. I actually became depressed for a short period over the summer. I still mourn for her family’s loss, and miss her every moment of my life. I know how much pain and suffering it’s caused her family and friends, but I become glad in knowing what effect her death had on everyone she knew. Her friends now know what drugs can do to their bodies, and have possibly saved their own lives in not using them, and for that I am happy. During that same summer, my nieces and their parents moved in with my family. The two girls would constantly get on my nerves probably as much as I got on theirs. For a while, I wanted things to be how they used to be, I wanted to go back to my true home. I wanted to be rid of the oppression and not feel like I had to hide in my room. However, as time progressed, I realized why we were put into this situation with them: to help them with school, social skills, and life in general. Now, instead of looking at the fighting and angst that is sometimes present in our relationship, I look on the brighter side and see that I have helped them and that’s what truly matters.