This I Believe

Jonathan - Hampton, New Hampshire
Entered on November 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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I believe that everything is able to change. I believe that I cannot take anything for granted. The day that I developed this belief came about thirteen months ago.

My family and I had just come back from the local bagel shop and me and my brothers where sitting around the kitchen table, enjoying our bagels. I was just starting the second half of my bagel when my mom and dad came into the room. My mom spoke first. She said:

“Mommy and Daddy have been disagreeing with each other for about three years. We have tried really hard not to do this, but Mom and Dad have decided to live in different houses.”

At first when I heard her I didn’t understand. We seemed to be a happy enough family, getting along fine, with an argument or two between brothers now and then, but still being happy enough. But then I didn’t think it was a joke, because I saw my dad crying. My dad never cries, so I know this is for real. A moment later we are all in a big huddle together, hugging and crying, trying to get as close to each other as possible.

I knew at that moment that my life had changed. Ever since then my beliefs have changed too. Before writing this essay and looked deep into my emotions, I had not thought about my belief, but now that I have noticed, I have also noticed that this seems to govern my life. I know this sounds crazy, but I go through every day bracing myself for the unexpected. This belief makes me who I am. My beliefs are thus:

I believe everything is transient, that good things can disappear in an instant. I believe that I can not take everything for granted, and that life can always strike you with big surprises; your parents splitting up, the drunk driver killing your brother, loosing a friend. Nothing can stay forever, and everything will someday disappear. This I believe.