This I Believe

Nicole - Willmette, Illinois
Entered on November 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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The Harder You Fall, The Higher You Bounce

Setbacks exist for a reason. If not literally to set us back, though, then what is their purpose? I believe delays in our dreams only push us farther, that without them no drive would be possessed, no obstacle could be overcome, and no reason to move forward would even cross the mind. As a competitive Irish dancer, I have learned this again and again throughout the years. Every letdown, every disappointment, and every failure gives birth to a whole new positive outlook. It is this optimistic view point that makes the difference, that changes the game, that makes us more.

After taking time to change dance schools, I came to the conclusion that it would take a whole lot more to move forward that I originally thought. I would need to bounce back from every unsuccessful moment of my past. My future would require me to move forward, and to change for the better. I decided to work as hard as I could to improve and improve and, yes, improve a little more. The regional Irish dance competition, known as an Oireachtas, was my final goal. Prior to this year, I have attended twice before. The latter was a disheartening and stressful time for me. I did not dance my best. From then on, my only concern was to become something extra, something better.

Without looking at sadness with despair, I think the world would be a better place if everyone could pick up and learn from their mistakes. Moving forward does not necessarily mean forgetting about the past. Instead, it entails the ability to transform ourselves into something greater. The more difficult your breakdown, obviously then, your risen self will soar further than you could have ever imagined. An inspirational sign on the wall of my dance studio sums it up into only a few words: “The harder you fall, the higher you bounce.”