This I Believe

David - santa monica, California
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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I believe in starting from zero. I learned it from my own experience.

I was fifteen years old when my father announced that we were moving to the US for the next couple of years. “WHAT? Me? Why me?” were my reactions at that time. For a young Spanish kid with most of his life planned out already, the perspective of moving from one country to another wasn’t very encouraging. I mean, I was going to be a famous bullfighter and marry an exotic flamenco girl. Where else would you find those besides Spain?

So I whined for a while, I packed my stuff for another while, and I partied with my friends the rest of the time. I feared the most that I would forget about my friends and that they would forget about me. At least I wanted to print in my mind their faces, and laugh at them when I was sad or bored in this new country.

After we finally moved here, rented a house and enrolled my sister and me in school, my first footsteps in this country weren’t too encouraging. My grades in school were low, I had few to no friends, and my main concern was to get home as soon as possible and go online to chat with my friends back in Spain. One time I stayed up all night chatting with them when I had a test the following day—needless to say, I failed it. Soon I understood what the problem was.

I wasn’t even trying! Like a larvae wanting to break through the cocoon —but won’t— because it is too afraid that people won’t like its beautiful butterfly wings. Well I felt sort of like that. I was so afraid of starting from zero, like the butterfly was, that I stayed in my own little cocoon. But as soon as I realized that, I gave my “restart plan” another chance. It was tedious, boring and tiresome, but the payoffs were some unforgettable friendships, perfect grades, and some really awesome butterfly wings.

But the following year in high school, I came back with the mentality of being with my buddies and having the time of my life. What was my surprise when I discovered that most of them had changed schools or had plainly left. What was that? I wasn’t ready to restart again: to meet new teachers, to adjust to new difficulty levels, and to lend money to new friends —I had done that the earlier year! But, alas, I didn’t find any happiness until I started from zero again.

Nowadays I’m addicted to a good, fresh and new start. It is the cheapest of the drugs currently available in our schools. If we change schools or move from a city to another, let us give it a try. Life will be beautiful if we all have butterfly wings.