This I Believe

Savannah - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity
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Sitting alone on my bed, all I could think of was how brainless I had been. How could I get involved in so many bad situations? How could I lie to my parents? Thinking about all the things I had done wrong in the past few months just made me even angrier. I needed my trust back and I needed to show my parents I had learned my lesson.

As a middle child, I never really experience being in the spotlight. Like most people, I feel the need to act a little dramatic to be noticed. In middle school, I made friends with some manipulative girls and started to lose my good judgment. Each time we hung out, our stunts became more dangerous and more ridiculous. My dramatic acts worsened, as well as my attitude toward my parents.

Every detail of my thirteen-year-old social life had been recorded into an online journal. Between the girly colors and artsy fonts were stories and pictures of my past weekend’s activities. I remember the shocked looks on my parents faces when they found that journal open on my computer. I remember them repeating over and over, “Where did your judgment go? We are very disappointed.” They told me we would talk about what they had read as soon as they could figure out what to say. Tears streamed down my face as I sat on my bed, nervous and shaky. When my parents returned to my room, they looked angrier than I had ever seen them. With stern eyes and a deep monotone voice, my dad sharply stated that my punishment would be total loss of cell phone, computer, and freedom.

Once I started to endure my punishments, I was glad to finally have some attention. After a few months of solitude my parents’ lesson came across to me. This incident wasn’t going to end the world, it would be a learning experience. I believed I could get through my punishments. I believed I would still have a social life, and I believed I would once again be able to be trusted. I gained optimism and a much more peaceful attitude. In time, my privileges and freedoms were restored.

While I learned that I didn’t need to make bad judgment to be noticed, I also learned to look on the bright side of a situation. I believe that for every mistake there are lessons to be learned.

Although I’ve learned many different lessons along the way, I am still an imperfect teenager who makes mistakes, I still get involved in sticky situations, and I still don’t always make the best choices. And when I make those occasional bad choices, I wait for the lesson to follow. When it does, I greet it with a smile and add it to my now, very large, pool of wisdom.