This I Believe

Adam - cartersville, Georgia
Entered on April 22, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
  • 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.


When my aunt died I was in charge of helping my uncle sort through all of her things. One afternoon I stumbled across a black dress, very neatly folded at the bottom of a drawer. When I asked my uncle about it his eyes mournful glistened as he told me the story of how years ago she came home beaming from the purchase of this dress. She told my uncle that it was the most perfect dress she had ever worn. When my uncle asked her when she was thinking of wearing it she told him it would have to be saved for a very special day. As weeks passed, my uncle would playfully tease her about the dress, asking her if the opera or five star restaurant was “dress-worthy.” My uncle told me that she never wore the dress. He then steadied himself, looked directly in my eyes, and told me never to forget that each day of my life is a miracle. “Don’t wait for that special day to happen, but make everyday worth living because you never know how many you are going to get,” he said.

He wrapped the dress up and placed it on my aunt’s grave that night.

I believe that today can be that special day that I have been waiting for. I want to save the world, so I will go outside and clean up any trash I see on the ground. I want to be someone’s hero, so I will write a thank you card to one of the workers at my school’s cafeteria. I enrolled in a conservation biology class to change the world. I enrolled in a theatre class to move people. I started a journal because one day I wanted to write a book. I started filming my friends because one day I wanted to be a director.

I try to keep my uncle’s words close to heart everyday. I know it is cliché to wave the Carpe Diem banner but when I look back on my four years of high school I know that I lived. I graduated Valedictorian, Class President, and Most Likely to Succeed because I saw the day I would make my graduation speech every time I went to school. I made that far off day a reality because I held nothing back to get it. After school, my plans would go from driving home and playing video games to piling up in a car with my friends and play on my old elementary school’s swing set in a heartbeat because I never let the opportunity of making some great memories slip through my fingers.

I believe in making everyday “dress-worthy.”