This I Believe

Maksim - San Diego, California
Entered on October 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe in ambition, and that we can all succeed if we simply try. The choices we make shape the path of our lives, and the lives of our loved ones. We all have dreams at one time or another. Many of them are forgotten, tossed away, simply because we fail to reach out for them. Some may feel that a certain desire is too difficult to achieve, almost impossible. I, however, do not believe that dreams have limits. Moving from Russia to America, I have experienced certain difficulties. A new culture, new customs, and a new life. What was most difficult, however, was the new language. I had no knowledge of a single English word. I struggled to understand that which was said to me, without success. Our relatives claimed that within a year or two I would be a fluent speaker, translating for my family. I simply smiled and hoped it was true. At the time, I knew two languages. Russian, of course, was one of them. The other was sign language to communicate with my deaf brother. I did not know how I could learn a third. I was depressed as I watched my grades sink, all because I failed to comprehend what was being taught. I was not used to this. I had received a number of awards for my outstanding grades in Russia; now, I was nowhere near one. I would attempt to define elementary words that were assigned to me as homework, and I would become anxious with the thought of having to memorize them all. Nevertheless, even under such personal pressure never once did I consider giving up. Motivated by the thought of being able to speak such an essential language, I began to grasp the basics of speech and writing, and eventually more complicated words. I am here, several years later, writing this letter, with no difficulty whatsoever. Sometimes I wonder how, but I know the answer. It was all because I believed I could, and I reached out and grasped my dream.