This I Believe

Eddie - Vernon Hills, Illinois
Entered on May 2, 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 believe in the surfer dude.

Now that I think about it I find it to be rather funny, but in all honesty it’s really very sad. It’s sad that I am nineteen years old and after almost two decades of life, I am only now beginning to understand how little I really know about the world I have been living in.

I had this epiphany only after I broke up with my girlfriend of nearly two years. Up until that point, she was my life. We loved each other, and therefore believed that it was necessary to do everything together. We loved each other, and therefore believed that it was necessary to have a plan and get married and have children. We loved each other, and therefore believed that it was necessary to bicker like old and bored retirees living off their social securities checks in Florida. Soon enough, we weren’t like the old Florida couple; we were the old Florida couple. We acted as if our entire lives had just passed before our eyes and now we were bitter and miserable—but at least we had our plan I thought, at least we were secure.

I broke up with my girlfriend upon my return from Hawaii where I was vacationing during my Spring break. During my stay I made friends with several surfer dudes. They were Hawaiian natives and surfed because they loved to surf. They anticipated every wave, but just because it was there didn’t mean they had to ride it. They didn’t live life like a book, where every page was predictable and only the ending stood to be a mystery. They lived for tomorrow, because they didn’t know what tomorrow would bring.

When I was dating my girlfriend, I knew what tomorrow would bring. I knew who I would marry and by my eighteenth birthday, I knew who I would spend the rest of my life with. At the time many called me lucky. I, on the other hand, considered myself cursed. I was too young to know my fate, and therefore I was too young to know my world.

I believe in the surfer dude because I believe in chance. I believe in mystery and suspense. I believe in the unknown and the anticipation of the understood. The surfer dude goes with the flow of life, never expecting, yet always ready to ride the biggest wave of his career. I loved my girlfriend, but I acknowledged that she did not fall from the heavens to be my bride. My first love was not meant to be my only love. I promised myself that I would prevail and live life like the surfer dude, never expecting, yet always ready.