This I Believe

Amy - Lebanon, Oregon
Entered on May 16, 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 reached up on tip-toes and lifted my scrapbook from the top shelf of my closet. I blew the dust off of the cover and sat down to enjoy my trip to memory lane. I turned each page and savored one good memory after the other. Upon one page that I turned all happy memories were abandoned. On this page of hurtful memories, I was surrounded by my so called “friends,” but inside, I was the only living soul on earth. I felt as if I was left to breathe alone, while I constantly searched for someone who would care, but to my dilemma, there was no one.

The pictures were of a school state convention I went to when I was 14 years old. Volleyball was one of my many competitions and since I wasn’t an athlete, it was my least favorite. Looking at the pictures now, I realize how out of place I looked. I was always on the outside of the huddle, sitting on the bench, looking lost when on the court, and was always more afraid of the player who would push me out of the way to get the ball rather then of how I would actually get the ball itself. My mom used to say that I looked scared out there. The many days I would cry when I got to the privacy of my home told my mom that it was more then a volleyball that left me scarred.

I used to think that being brave was being popular, but a cage held me captive from my popularity and there was no escaping. I would forever be sentenced for my personality, my looks, and my timidness. Who wouldn’t be scared under such confinement?

One picture particularly stands out. After our Convention we stopped by Izzy’s for lunch. I sat with one of the leaders while the rest of the group sat together.

“Can I take a picture of you with your friends?” Kaydi asked.

“Sure,” I said a little nervously. So I pulled up a chair at their table and smiled a “life’s great” smile. Anyone looking at this picture would assume that life was fine, but from my perspective I was still caged. The picture was a fake. I was forced to smile; I was forced to look happy. I was the only one sitting at the front of the table. I was separate from the others. I was alone.

I never did receive a “get out of jail free” card, but the pages of my scrapbook have brought more happy memories; memories that I’m still creating to this day. There are too many dormant pictures that have been buried in peoples’ past. I must find the key to awaken the good memories! I must show them that they are not alone! This world is too silent. I will remain silent no more! This I believe!