This I Believe

Kathryn - Elgin, Illinois
Entered on October 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: pleasure

I believe in appreciating the small things in life. Each day I make a conscious effort to find them. To search them out and cherish them; to remember to laugh and enjoy the sunshine; to hold a few doors and share a few smiles; to smell the coffee and listen to the music. Every day is filled with small adventures; I just have to pay attention.

This belief of mine was born of depression, of hardship. It is a coping mechanism that has become a way of life. A helping hand during the tough times and a joy during the normal ones. At the age of sixteen I was lost and without hope. I lived in a verbally abusive household; the severity of which had been at an unusual high. I was sworn at, insulted, belittled, and intimidated. Four hour arguments were a frequent occurrence. My spirits were crushed. I could not see anything past the hatred and injustice I was being shown. I cracked one day, there was no strength left in me. There was nothing in this life to hold on to. Life was futile. There was going to be no reprieve from this living hell. I was seriously considering suicide. My boyfriend is the one who saved me. For years I had been led to believe that my mistreatment was entirely my fault. For years I had suffered in shame and relative silence. Everything came spilling out in one late night conversation, years of hurt and emotional anguish. I told him everything down to the very last detail. His anger was my relief. His frustration and comforting words were my saving grace. I did not deserve to live my life in this manner. I deserved happiness. These words gave me hope. That night I made a decision. If I wanted happiness I would have to seek it out. I would have to get beyond the negative and find the positive. I soon realized that what I had were the small things, small things that others take for granted. Take the hug of a young child or the smell after it rains, for example, they were all I had so I learned to focus on them. This act is what rejuvenated my spirit.

Through this emphasis on the small things I have found hope. I have learned that there is good in every single day, no matter how bad. I have learned to look past cruel words and hopeless situations. Instead I find something to be thankful for. It’s a thought process that did not come easily, but the best things in life are worth the struggle.