This I Believe

Carissa - Fair Oaks, California
Entered on May 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

All my life, I have been taught that the trials we face, are what build character. Most people feel bitter about life when they suffer through a difficult time. But it is because of my life experiences that I believe in perseverance. I believe that the struggles we face in life, are meant to shape that we are. I personally learned this the summer going into my second year of high school when I got into a car accident. A two-trailer semi truck hit my car. Needless to say, the car was a wreck. Miraculously, no one was hurt, at least no one but me. We all walked away from the accident without a scratch on our bodies but I walked away with a sore back. I later came to find that my sore back was actually muscle spasms or in other words, I get sudden involuntary contractions of a group of muscles, followed by a sudden burst of pain. Whenever I worked too hard, or got upset, or stressed, these muscle spasms would occur. This has changes my life. I can no longer play any sport that might strain my back and that eliminates pretty much all of them. I can no longer go through a single day without once feeling pain or tension in my back. And although I have, since then, strengthened my back and eliminated some of the pain, my back will never fully recover. At first I was angry and frustrated, I just wanted the pain to go away and I wanted my strength back. Then after a few months I came to realize that I cant change my circumstances but I can change the way I feel about them. I decided that dwelling on it got me nowhere. And for the first time since the accident, I realized how lucky I was to be alive and that just being alive was a blessing. I overcame my trial by changing my outlook on life I persevered. I believe that perseverance defines a person and who they are in life. In every endeavor, there are lessons to be learned. I have learned that without suffering, there would be no compassion, without mistakes there would be no mercy and without perseverance, there would be no success, achievements or growth in character. This I believe.