This I Believe

Sarah - Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Mistakes do not know our name, where we were born, or when our birthday is. They do not know whether we have five best friends or only two. If they cannot identify us by these simple things, why should they define who we are?

I believe that mistakes are not who we are. I believe that mistakes only make us human and sometimes they are the only way to learn. Mistakes cannot forever hold power over our lives. We must finally learn how to be set free.

For many years, I have let a mistake cost me much happiness. I have let it define me. He was my best friend until I as a human failed. We talked about everything and did everything together. We were known to always be together and yet because of me, we became a distant memory. In the end, I possessed every trait that man is known to fear-control, vulnerability, and expectation. I became the one thing I never wanted to become and that was a failure. He walked right out of my life because of who I was and what characteristics I never learned to change. He told me he couldn’t handle the expectation, the standard of being perfect and that no matter how many times we tried, we could no longer be friends. From that moment on a mistake, one little mistake in my human character forever defined me.

Everything from that day haunted my every move. Every detail in my life became consumed by that moment. Was I really as controlling as he thought? Is that how others viewed me? Was I really turning into the person I did not want to be? Constant thoughts and questions pondered my mind. Would this mistake really define me for the rest of my life? Would I forever keep the burden that I became a failure?

I believe that mistakes are only the stepping stones in the journey of life. I believe that they help us learn from our past and guide us to the future. My mistake has defined me, until now. Why did I let it control me for so long-because I thought it would forever be a mark on my character. Instead it is not defining who I am because why should it?

I believe that eventually you should be set free from your mistakes because who you are is not what you have done.