This I Believe

Marissa - Moraga, California
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

The Power

I am not the best. I don’t get the best grades. I don’t have the perfect body. I have no hidden or even obvious talents. It’s taken sixteen years but I’ve finally realized it. There is always going to be somebody out there who is better than me. At this point, it seems hopeless. If I am never going to win, why even try?

At the start of my freshmen year I fell into the stress and sleep deprivation that plagues half my school. I mindlessly completed the busy work that teachers gave me and thought only about getting into college. I began to starve myself for the perfect body, and practiced tirelessly at a sport that I didn’t particularly like. I did it all just to be successful.

Then it hit me. Life is not a competition. It is up to me to define a successful life and it is up to me to live that successful life.

I have everything I need to live a fulfilling, rewarding and incredible life filled with opportunities, emotion and risks. I have the power to do what I choose. Sure, consequences come with that control. I may have to give up my “dream college” in order to spend more time with those I love. I may not become rich, or get married and have children like I’m supposed to do. But nobody else should be living my life for me.

We are all in control. We have the power to make decisions and to choose how we should live.

The reality is that we could die tomorrow. We only get one shot at living. One shot to experience all there is to experience, to truly feel every emotion and to do what we love.

I do not want to waste my life. My self worth and intelligence can not be summed up in the letters A-F. My true character can not fit onto a college application.

I can choose how I want to live my life and who I want to be. Every decision I make will help to shape my life and it will be my decision. I can determine my future.

We can not blame others for our own mistakes. We can not trick our true selves into believing that we are happy when we are not. Only you can make yourself happy. You have the power to take control, and to truly live.

You have the power to make your life the best life possible. This I believe.