This I Believe

Vikki - Georgetown, Texas
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe…I believe….what exactly do I believe? Honestly, submitting this essay was not my idea. A professor of mine introduced most of my government class to this segment on NPR, and challenged each of us to submit an essay. As I sat here at my computer trying to decide what I truly believe, I realized a few things about myself. For some reason I was having a tendency to concentrate on the problems that surround me. I was letting the pressures that I was feeling get the better of me. Then after some soul searching I decided to just let go. Things started to come into focus and I had finally discovered what I would like to share with you.

I believe that sometimes the only way that you can get ahead in your own life is to take a leap of faith and follow your dreams. While the stress and pressures of everyday life had clouded my mind, I realized that I had lost sight of the very life changing gift that I have given my self.

Sometimes our lives uncontrollably change and we just have to find a way to stay afloat and ride the waves until we can find a calmer sea. On these turbulent waters is where I have spent most of my adulthood. Within the last ten years a series of uncontrollable events have changed my life. The most unforeseen was the sudden death of my husband. It is amazing how quickly a person’s life can go from secure and predictable to scary and paralyzing. I was a woman in my mid-twenties with two young children and not a clue what I was going to do. I had not furthered my education and had never established any kind of work experience outside of raising my children.

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find a job in a very small school district as a teacher’s assistant for the elementary school’s pre-k program. I fell in love with the kids and teaching. I had finally found out what I wanted to do with my life.

I continued working with pre-k children for the next 4 ½ years, until one day I over heard a conversation that changed my life. A veteran teacher was reminding an equally experienced aide that she had suggested years ago to go back to school and get a degree to become a teacher. Then she said a sentence that I will never forget, “Those four years would have passed whether you were here or in school.” I knew exactly what I need to do.

When contracts were due, I met with the principal to inform him that I would not be back the following year. As I sat in his office the words barely came out of my mouth and even then, I couldn’t believe what I was saying. I went straight to a friend’s classroom and cried with excitement and fear. I had just taken a tremendous leap of faith. I took control of my life and followed a dream.

I believe that I did the right thing taking this leap of faith and as a result I gave myself a truly life changing gift.