This I Believe

Aleksandra - Brooklyn, New York
Entered on August 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • 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.

Now I believe that things happen for a reason. Being mature means to be able to connect it with the source and take a lesson out of it.

For all my young years however I did not believe in destiny, I did not believe in signs and therefore did not care about a black cut cutting off my way. I did not believe in God either. But it all has changed, and the change was sudden.

I grew up in Europe. My family was just a normal family: middle class, both of my parents with college education, an older sister and a dog to complete the whole picture. My dad used to spend a lot of time abroad as it has been dictated by the nature of his job. He was an engineer and part of his work were special projects requested from outside of his institute. Sometimes he would take the family with him, and I could explore other cultures, learn new languages… So it was beneficial for the whole family, right?

Not really. My dad soon started to show signs that the world is overwhelming him. Work became a huge stressor in his life. He also could not stop wanting more and more material things: new cars, boats, cameras, TV… Soon, there were no theater family outings – we were saving for the summer house. Even when the summer house finally stood on our own ground, my dad was still unhappy. He screamed. He fought with my mom. He disrespected her, so I felt. He became a clingy person, wanting everyone’s attention. He demanded it.

Not much time has passed, when my dad had his first nervous breakdown, and soon came another. Then came the sleepless nights followed by prescription medicine for depression. Unfortunately, he could not make peace with his illness. He could not embrace it, but instead started looking for some “real” physical illness. He suspected cancer, brain tumor, ulcers, and anything that there is in the medical dictionary. My mom followed him to every possible doctor. The more he tried to focus on the outside, the more the inside was hurting.

Then came the day, when my dad was unable to stay home by himself, he would not go fishing alone, he was unable to sit in his car in a traffic jam, and he would cry. When someone asks me what is the worst thing you can imagine, I say: To see my dad crying. Something about this picture was very disturbing.

At this point I was so angry that I abandoned my family. I moved out. And not just to a different apartment. I left my country behind. I was free, or so I thought. But my “un-luck” seemed to follow me all the way from oversees, it just would not let go of me. My mom called often as I refused to speak to my dad. She told me about his suicidal thoughts. Soon the thoughts turned into attempts. And finally the attempts became an actual suicide. My dad was gone.

For another few years to come, I was angry at him. I could not make peace with the fact that he chose the easy way out. I saw his decision as a way of proving us, the family, that he was indeed unhappy: “Look! I am so miserable that I will take my own life!” Maybe, I cannot think for someone else. I do not know his real motives. But I am certain now that it happened for a reason. My dad saved me. He was the first “un-luck” in my life. There were others too, and I always tried to figure out: Why me? Why are all these bad things happening to me? Why will I always have to mumble about my dad, once someone inquires about him? Why? And all those questions made me look deeper into myself, and finally see all the things that I was doing wrong. I have reevaluated my values, my goals and all the things that make me me. And I have realized that all of these things did not happen because I have deserved it. My dad did not die because I have earned it through my bad deeds. Nor did the other bad things happen, for the same reason. It all happened so that I think I have done something wrong, and look critically at myself. I believe that he died so that I take some time off and re-evaluate my life; to see things that are of dangerous nature to my spiritual well being. And I did. And for that I thank you, dad.