This I Believe

Ashley - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on April 20, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I am twenty-one years old. I am told this make me an adult. I have officially “grown up” so it is about time to decide what I am doing with my life. That being said, I think you, the reader should be aware of what my life’s expectations have been up until now.

At five, becoming a dentist was the big career plan. I wanted to help the world one toothy grin at a time. This was before cavities, wisdom teeth, and when pulling a tooth meant a dollar under my pillow and an awesome new sticker with a shiny tooth on it. This was my dream until second grade.

At eight years old I conjured a new dream in my ever-wandering mind. After endless hours singing into my mother’s hairbrush and performing “complicated” choreography in the mirror over my dresser, I knew performing was in my blood. I would bring smiles to the world. I approached my parents tentatively with my news. They would be concerned for me at first, this being such a difficult career to commit to. It was important to let them down easy since they were losing a doctor in the family. When the words slipped out during my macaroni and cheese dinner, they paused and stared for what felt like a lifetime, finally nodding solemnly, admitting that with my potential I would go places. Two years later I learned I was tone deaf.

Middle school and high school went by in an awkward and confusing blur. Boy crazed, dreaming of a bust, and finding myself blushing at every moment helped fashion a new goal to accomplish. Somehow, becoming a supermodel was now the dream of dreams. By doing so, I imagined gaining confidence and of course making the world a more beautiful place one Cosmo magazine at a time. This idea was short lived when it became apparent that genetics were not on my side – there are far and few supermodels out there that are vertically challenged like myself. The rest of high school was spent concentrating on the happiness of those around me.

Currently, I am attending my third year in college and much like the years that have lead up to this point, changing my mind about what to do with my future, is a frequent occurrence. Teaching, literature, and creative writing have all been considered as potential occupations and only time will tell which one will truly stick.

I am twenty-one years old. I am told that makes me an adult, however; here I am still not completely sure about my “adult” future. What I am sure of is the things I truly feel are important have stuck with me. I believe in helping people, making people smile, bringing beauty into the world, and making people happy. I’m not sure what I will do with my adult life, but these are the things I believe in.