This I Believe

Rachel - Wylie, Texas
Entered on April 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I believe…

I am sixteen, and I am trapped. Trapped in high school. Trapped at home. Trapped in my own little world. I have this ambition; an ambition to save the world. I see snot-nosed little kids with dirty feet and their ribs sticking out from their sides and I want to save them. I see mothers too skinny, broken, or bruised to feed their own children and I want to save them, but I am stuck. Stuck in my own world, too young to save this world.

I expressed these feelings to my dad, who is somewhat of a walking contradiction. He sits in his car and listens to the local head-banger’s station in khaki pants and a collared shirt. We maintain an unspoken understanding. He too appears frustrated just as I am frustrated. He is a kid that has been forced to grow up. He is not immature by any means, but rather holding onto something in his past that he is not ready to give up. We have never talked of this, but I see it. I know his dreams and ambitions, long ago, bled from his head as if from an open wound. I see that he is trapped. I am assuming this is why he wakes up long before the rest of the house has even thought of hitting the snooze. He rises form deep sleep in the early morning to run, long and hard. We do not talk about what has rubbed his face into the asphalt that is the real world. There is no need. When he looks at me and tells me I can be anything and do anything, I am fully aware of what he knows and what he is trying to instill in my life.

I recently began to run late at night, when the roads appear to be paved just for me, just like my dad. I like the feeling of running. I like the feeling of my legs dragging, still soft from sitting, as it reminds me that it is always hard to start something big. I like the feeling of my feet pounding the concrete and my heart and breath falling into their steady tempo as it reminds me that a steady pace and routine helps to make the long run easier. I like the weightless feeling I get from the endorphins as they remind me of what success feels like.

It is cliché that I would write of my belief of chasing one’s dreams, very cliché and yet so much more. As I lay awake at night, fondling the euphoric dreams of my future that hang just over my bedpost, I am motivated; I am fierce. I will never give this up.

I am sixteen and I am motivated. I see young men broken down because of a father’s irrational rage toward a mother, and I am motivated. I see children with their eyes sunken into their skulls and the skin and bones they call limbs, and I am motivated. I see the world’s pain and suffering from within the confinements of my own world. I feel the pangs of others suffering resonating deep within me as I realize I am still just one, little girl. But I know better, I will not let this hold me back. My confinement to my sixteen-year-old-high-school-world has only strengthened my desire to save. I will continue to absorb the suffering outside my world. I will take in the suffering with all its horror, but will find peace, knowing that someday, I will save the world. Someday I will break free and I will make a difference. But until I break these chains, I will run long and hard just like my dad. However; unlike my dad, I will not run because I am frustrated. I will run because I am chasing my dreams.