This I Believe

Vanessa - Hiram, Maine
Entered on September 15, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

Believe more, not less.

I have always been a solitary person, but now I see it is only partially because of my natural need to be so. I am also a solitary person because life has led me to be this way. Being the youngest of six girls, I was often left out. Lacking confidence, I became invisible in the classroom. Having a spiritual awakening that others, it seemed, could not understand, was cause for greater isolation. Writing, over time, became my way to have the best of both worlds: solitude and a connection with others.

I joyfully wrote university papers and e-mailed family letters. I wrote hundreds of pages of poetry. I learned, in time, to socialize … as a mother, as a student, and later on, at the restaurant where I work. In this environment, I can have conversations with customers from all walks of life and of all ages. I can laugh with the wonderful people I work with.

One day, I made a friend in the provence of Quebec. I believed the time had arrived for me to be like so many others in the world — I would know what it was like to have a very close friend. But what I did not understand about her is this : the solitude she loves is not one she had adopted simply to survive, as I had, the social difficulties of life. Soliude, the real thing,was truly what she loved! My good friend loves to be by herself … painting, reading, walking, thinking. I sadly discovered she would never be one with whom I could REGULARLY meet at a restaurant to talk about life and to share my poetry and to laugh. Times like this would happen, but they would be rare.

It seemed I had found the perfect friend … fun … educated … who loved books and solitude .. who speaks French, my favorite language of the world. I asked myself: Is it so bad that I wish to have a very close friend? No. It really isn’t. But I am 50 years old and I have yet to know a soul mate!, I lamented. It is time, I think, to give up on this idea. Then a wonderful sort of admonition arose from inside of me and quietly said … Believe MORE in life, not less. Believe more in God, not less. A sweet assurance accompanied these words. This is the direction I believe I should go. Believe more in life, not less.