This I Believe

Maggie - USA
Entered on September 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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This I Believe…

I believe that life’s not fair. As a child, I know that I used that particular phrase pretty often. Whether discussing the choice in restaurant or the fact that my older sister got to stay up later then I did, it always seemed to be the first thing out of my mouth. ”That’s not fair” are words that every parent, teacher, and babysitter know well. In my experience, it is the truest phrase of them all.

When I was seven years old, my first real instance of unfairness occurred. My father, the light of my life, the reason I laughed, my best friend, my hero, passed away after his heart malfunctioned. As a little, seven, year old girl, figuring out that daddy wasn’t ever coming home was about as traumatic as it gets. I stayed out of school for a week and a half, and even when I returned, little things could set me off into convulsions of tears. After a lot of time passed, the pain of my loss settled into a dull ache, and I returned to a somewhat normal routine. As I grew up, I realized that I had two choices. I could continue to mourn everyday, drowning in my own tears, or I could overcome my sadness, and appreciate every little moment of my life.

I chose happiness. I choose to wake up everyday, and get out of bed smiling. I choose to laugh and never let little things get me down. I’ve learned that you can whine and complain about what supposedly missing in your life, but that only makes you a whiner. I believe that it is the unfair moments in one’s life that are the most amazing. It is the unfair moments that teach you something about yourself.

Here’s where my most recent experience with unfairness comes in. It wasn’t quite as dramatic as the first, but it still affected me. In the summer of 2006, I was a Leader in Training at YMCA Camp High Harbor. Shortly into my second semester of sophomore year, I learned that I had not been offered a position as a staff member at the same camp for the next summer. Everything that I had been working toward in the summer of 2006, my dream of being a staff member at the place that had always been the highlight of my summer for almost nine years, was gone. They didn’t want me. Immediately, the little girl in me came out. It’s just not fair! That was all I could think about. It’s just not fair. And it wasn’t. It wasn’t fair that the camp had had to cut down on its staff members. It wasn’t fair that there was an immensely large number of girls applying for the positions, who had to work harder than the boys, of which at camp there were so few.

I struggled to find the good in this situation. I didn’t find it until this past summer. This summer I got my license, I made tons of money, I went to volleyball camp, I swam for my swim team, I went to the beach, and I just chilled out with my friends. And I had an amazing summer. Even though I didn’t get the position, the experience once again showed me that I could persevere. I didn’t need camp to have fun, I could do it all on my own in Atlanta.

It’s these moments of unfairness that have molded me into the person that I am today. Life is way too short to revel in what could have been if only life were always precisely just. If everything were always fair, life would be extremely boring and predictable. Make the best of everyday, even if you think it’s unfair. Smile, laugh, and most importantly, live.