This I Believe

Justin - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change

I believe in a change of heart. Not just little things, or minuscule ideas, but on large, life-changing issues.

It was about the middle of this summer, maybe a little later, I had a life-changing idea. Most people expect a shaft of light, or a choir of angels, what have you, but that was not my case. I had just finished reading a book, the last book of a long series in which I felt I could relate with the troubled teenage character. We were both trying to cope with our own problems, and it was how his story ended that changed mine.

Since as long as I can remember I was always a mischievous trouble maker, but about 7 years ago, my world was if not turned over, then at least severely shaken up. I had been living in Uganda (known as the Pearl of Africa), when my grandmother became sick. My dad was very anxious to get back, not to mention the rebels on the Congo border (plus a recent bombing at the embassy my dad worked at). We (my parents) decided to move back to the states. It tore my heart; I would be leaving my first friends (too young to have any before here) and my home.

In third grade (first year back in the states) I was the most troublesome child America had ever seen. If I remember correctly I received ISS some fifteen times, and (something I almost feel proud of) I received an OSS. What for? Let’s just say that some songs about bazookas blowing up evil 3rd grade teachers should not be sung in school. It was stupid now that I look back on it, but then, I felt that everything was stupid. 4th grade was better; thanks to a teacher who understood me. She showed me that life did not all have to be bad. 5th grade was worse than 4th but better than 3rd.

Middle school flew by as a period of boredom but yet making friends. Then in freshman year I tried to pick it up, and it went pretty well, as did last year. However, I still found myself getting into trouble, why, because I had no motivation to work or succeed. Then this summer, I read the last chapter of my fictional self’s story. An ending that to this day is my only motivation, the only thing that helps me sleep at night or push through hardships. His story ended with him saying goodbye to his sons and daughter as they left for school.

I realized that I had to be prepared for the single hardest job on Earth; I had to succeed now in order to be ready for being, a parent. In the course of some thirty pages I had a complete change of heart and I found a reason to continue. I would love someday to be able to sit on the porch with my son and tell him how my hope for his existence really changed me and how that he too can succeed like I did.

I believe that without motivation, or a reason for existence, life cannot be, and that anyone can have a change of heart at any moment that will change them for life, even if its from a couple of pages of a book.