This I Believe

Becca - ames, Iowa
Entered on November 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Bring a Hammer to These Walls

It starts with living in a world with no boundaries, with no walls to be held in by. Nothing can stop me from accomplishing my goals because I strive to find who I am. I believe in cordless drills. I believe in working to my full ability to break down the stereotypes that can often limit me.

Throughout my life, I have been fighting to find who I am. First I tried singing but soon found out my voice was not up to par. Then I started dance but realized I wasn’t coordinated enough. Then I tried something that I love and knew I could achieve; carpentry.

I decided to take Building Trades Construction Class at DMACC. I’ve taken mission trips to Kentucky before but the work ahead of me was more than goofing off on rooftops and seeing who can hammer in a nail with the least misses. I began the class as the only girl. The first activity we did in class was a hammering contest. The competition was to see who could hit in four nails first but being a girl, I was told I only had to hammer in three. My competitor was a tall, red headed, football player from North Polk. I was nervous as the instructor yelled “GO!” and from the beginning, he was ahead. He had hammered two nails when his third bent. I worked past him and we were tied. So looking absolutely ridiculous and hearing the jeers and side comments from the other boys in my class, I pounded my fourth nail in, using both of my hands just before he did. I could tell he felt embarrassed by being beaten by a girl, in a cheer leading uniform no less. And even though I tried my hardest on that day, I still get picked, not because of my ability but because of my gender.

But this class is something that I love doing that no one can take away from me. Even though it’s often difficult to deal with, it’s just another stereotypic wall I must break down and overcome. This past year I have overcome so many obstacles that once held me back. Instead of becoming a dancer, I became a cheerleader. Instead of singing professionally, I had a solo in our high school musical. And instead of standing back and watching other people build my dreams, I joined them, putting not only my time and skill into a project but also my love. I have reached my goals by breaking the stereotypes and boundaries; I have created something new.

Building new things with no walls to restrain me is something that I do daily, in and out of construction class. I believe in creating a new dream by getting past what holds me back. My life isn’t controlled by the existence of an extension cord but by how much I am willing to fight to reach my goals.