This I Believe

Abigail - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

Life Is About Taking Chances

I believe in dares. On the day of her graduation, my best friend and I left the ceremony early to begin our last adventures before college. We had been planning our day for months. Actually, the plan was there was no plan. We were going to do whatever occurred to us. So we set out. We took our horses on a long trail ride to our favorite place, Jaye’s Pond. It was hot, and Sam dared me to swim bareback with my horse. So I did. And I got soaking wet, but I didn’t care. It felt good.

For lunch we went to a small café on the Connecticut River. We wandered aimlessly downtown, and Sam said we should walk the railroad tracks that ran parallel to the water. So we did, and after a while, we saw an abandoned building. I dared Sam to climb up the fire escape to the roof. “Only if you come too,” she replied. So we climbed the nine floors of the fire escape. On the roof, we sat staring silently at the sprawling, snaking river. It grew later and the sun began to sink. We climbed back down.

It was dinner time, and I wanted to go to our favorite restaurant. While we waited for a table at Margarita’s, Sam dared me to dance. Although there was music, no one else was dancing. I danced anyway, and she did too. We didn’t worry about how ridiculous we looked. It didn’t matter to us.

After dinner, we went to see a movie. When it was over, we headed back to Sam’s car. As we grew closer, I saw that a sprinkler had just turned on and begun to water the grass. “I dare you to run through those sprinklers,” I said. She did. I followed her. We drove back to my house, dripping and cold but laughing. When we reached my house, I was tired, but Sam dared me to stay up all night. So we did.

That day I learned that it doesn’t matter if other people think you’re ridiculous if you’re having fun. I learned to let go. I learned that sometimes looking stupid is liberating. I learned to try to things. I learned that it’s fun to take chances you wouldn’t normally take. I learned that life is about risks. I believe in risk, in acting on impulses. I believe in dares.