This I Believe

Elena - Indianola, Iowa
Entered on September 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in courage.

Throughout my life, there have been times I have been challenged, motivated or moved by situations, forcing me to think about how I am living my life. Whether through being myself and trying new things, fulfilling the goals I have set for myself or just learning about love, courage is the word I live by the most.

#1: Doing something others don’t think is possible. I have always wanted to set myself apart from others, show others what I’m made of. Last semester, I picked up and moved to a new state—half way across the country– all by myself. I lived in New York City and interned through a Media program for four months. In my essay for acceptance, I remember quoting this passage: “Doors of opportunity don’t open, they unlock; it is up to you to turn the knob,” by Lily Taylor. I left my family, my friends and my boyfriend, everything I ever knew, for a brand new opportunity, because that was who I was. I knew what I wanted; I knew I had to do it. I was courageous.

#2: Fulfill my goals. Everyone has ideas of what they want to do when they get older, or maybe things they want to do before they die. For me, one of those goals is to run a marathon. I had never been devoted to anything serious like this before, something that requires months in preparation, time and overall motivation. What is it like to get up at 6:30a.m. to run for a couple hours, before the heat sets in, before it is too busy outside? I never knew before I decided to sign up last February. For the last four months, I have been training about 5 days a week, and still going strong. I am proud of myself for being consistent, for being so motivated. I am proud of myself for being courageous when I decided to do this, and most of all, for finishing it through.

#3: Let love happen. Throughout the last four years of school, I have seen many different kinds of relationships. The one that is most in my head is the one I have with my boyfriend. Started on the first day of college, had many bumps in the road, and now going the strongest it has ever been. Throughout this roller coaster, I have learned to be courageous and let love happen. I have never been this trusting before. I have never been so comfortable before. I am putting my heart out there and letting love happen. And it is.

Lastly, I am myself. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t realize something new about me—and I am proud of that. Whether through relationships, while I’m working out, or when I’m lying in bed, I am constantly trying to figure out what I am doing, where I am going, how I might get there… but overall, I am myself.