This I Believe

Kendall - La Grange, Illinois
Entered on September 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe that fear is just an excuse not to live your life to it’s utmost. As human beings we get a limited number of decades to live. By the time we can fully make our own decisions without the restraint of our parents we’re approximately ¼ done with our lives. So why hold back? Why wait? If you fear for your life or what could happen if you make the wrong decision then who knows what you could be missing.

When I was ten, my parents decided to divorce. Before that I considered myself to be a “normal” kid. You know, two happy parents, a cat, a dog, and antique house in La Grange. But when they separated everything was turned upside down. I began to fear what the kids at school were going to say when they found out I didn’t have an average family or that I lived in two houses. It was weeks before I even told my best friends what was going on. Above all, I was terrified of not being accepted, that somehow this change in my life was going to send everything hurling into the deep end. I began not to have friends over, and avoided at all costs talking about my family. Constantly petrified that if anyone knew my secret that then they wouldn’t want to be friends with me and I would become an outsider. In my ten-year-old mind nothing was worse than that.

Two years later, I met someone. A new girl came to our school and she openly expressed to the class that the reason she moved was because her parents were getting divorced. I couldn’t believe it! She looked perfectly normal, and yet her parents were not together. I was intrigued. Quickly we became friends and I shared my history with her. She didn’t say “I’m sorry” or anything of sympathy, she just acknowledged our similarity and went on making our after school snack. No hug, no pity, no alarm, just a sloppy peanut butter sandwich was all I got.

That’s when I realized something. Your fear of what has happened in your past doesn’t make who you are today, you chose who you want to be. Most of all you decide how you want to live your life, even if it’s with a new friend snacking on sandwiches.