This I Believe

Elizabeth - Briarcliff, New York
Entered on June 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that I must live life in the moment. I am sixteen years old, a junior in high school, and I am living a planned and calculated life. The past three years of my life have all been blurred into preparation. Preparation for a series of tests that I must do well on in order to get into that good college in order to get that good job in order to do well in that job and get promoted to that even better job. I am only sixteen years old and I am living my life for the person that I will be forty years from now.

I have lived my life preparing, thinking that what I am doing now will be better for me down the road, and although this may be true, I wonder when the road will end. When will the point come when I no longer have to work up to something else, and when the time finally comes, am I going to be too old and feeble to enjoy it? I believe that I should be able to enjoy my life as it is at this very moment instead of constantly feeling as though I need to fulfill some predetermined destiny.

But by actually writing these frustrated feelings down I am able to realize that maybe the skills that I have learned on this road have made me the person I am today and the person that I will become tomorrow. The plan that I feel is trapping me into becoming a robot, is really an adjustable guideline that I must personalize to make my own; Like Emerson said, “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” I believe that I must take advantage of the time that I have to go out, work hard and be the best that I can be, but all the while remember that my life is what I make it.

It dawns on me now that the hardest part of creating myself is choosing what it is that I want to do with my life, choosing the adventures that will make me unique, and sculpt my character to become the person that I want to be. But who do I want to be? I want to be a doctor, I want to be a healer, I want to travel the world, I want to find a place to call my own, to become president, to be a protestor, to help the less fortunate, to be in two places at once, to fall in love, to discover something new, to be remembered. I want to be me.