This I Believe

Jessica - Los Angeles, California
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: fear
  • 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.

This I Believe…

I believe that I am not only one person, but instead a person who is shaped by the different qualities of my family. I believe that my relatives are apart of me. They are all different and special and connect to me in some way.

I’ll never forget the many times when my uncle Salva took me to the park to play soccer, even when I was six or seven and a lousy player. He not only taught me to chase the ball, but to chase what I want the most in life. My uncle Salva showed me the talent I had and made me realize how much I loved the sport. Nothing sounds better to my ears than that one word of his—“Golaso!” Although my uncle Salva has taught me to chase after what I want, it has been my cousin who has taught me to try things at my own speed.

My cousin Danny is just about as picky an eater as I am. At my cousin Erendira’s wedding the appetizer that was served to us was a various selection of lettuce, vegetables with names too long and hard to pronounce, and an interesting assortment of nuts, which were all thrown together to make what was called “a salad”. My cousin Danny took one look at it and said “I’ll eat it if Jessie eats it”, but no way was I about to digest that mountain of disgust. He has taught me that my own speed is the best speed for me and that no one has the right to rush me. I like to travel at my own pace, but still get things accomplished, and we are both working on finding and developing an “international taste” as my dad calls it. Whether or not to eat a simple salad is a hard decision for me, but my other uncle has influenced me as a person majorly because of his own decision making.

My uncle David has shown me that sometimes people have to make sacrifices. It might not easy or fair, but it is what he must do in order to give his family a good life. He has just recently decided that he, my aunt Linda, and my three cousins are moving to Texas. Currently they live in a four room apartment where my cousin David has no room—as he sleeps on the couch in their living room/kitchen. My uncle David says that he doesn’t want to be paying rent forever and that everyone deserves their freedom, no matter how they find it—and this is his way. He has taught me that the right decision isn’t always the easiest, but it is always right.

Although all of these relatives of mine are very different, they all compile their personalities onto me as a whole. They all teach me something new and something different to believe in.