This I Believe

Hallie - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

In life we take chances, hoping for the best. Sometimes we stick it out until the end and sometimes we back out, not finishing what we started. And as we grow and develop as individuals, we are then able to see the mistakes we have made in our lives, and the consequences that are a result of these mistakes, as I believe in hard work and perseverance.

As a young child, I stuttered when the focus of attention was upon me. I was told that family members and outside people were accustomed to deal with it. A conscious effort was made to be very patient and all the time that I needed to express my thoughts. I felt very embarrassed and hurt, although in time with the support of clinicians, doctors, and family, initially I was taught to persevere in order to overcome any other obstacle.

Last year I made a conscious decision to quit French because I thought everybody was smarter than me and I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to make it through the class. Regardless of the teachers encouragement to stay in th class, I chose not to listen. I ultimately took the easy way out. Instead of persevering, I opted out and didn’t challenge myself even though on an intellectual level, knew that it would have been the right decision to stay in the class. I regret the decision that I had made. In hindsight, I realized that I shortchanged myself as I now see that I cannot go back. Quitting made me open my eyes, and made me take up a hobby that I didn’t exactly enjoy, but I knew it could only benefit me in the long run.

I was never thought of as a good swimmer. As a child it took me quite a while to learn how to swim. As I got older I practiced and practiced until I thought that I was ready to try out for one of the hardest programs called Junior Lifeguards. I tried out for the program and with all the effort that I put in to I finally got into the program, and made the required time.

Days began with long distance runs, two mile long ocean swims, and hours of conditioning. I wanted to give up, although I knew I made a commitment to The Junior Lifeguards program and to myself. Even though the program was physically demanding, I stuck with it and was able to follow through with the program. This particular experience is one that I am very proud of and will cherish. Once I had completed this, I now knew what It took to succeed and knew in my heart that I could accomplish anything that I set out to do. Nothing could get in my way.

As I look back on my various life experiences, I can attribute my personal growth and my success to hard work and perseverance.