This I Believe

Katie - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Breakfast Table Dreams and Fake Tattoos

I believe in inner peace.

I am enamored with the sixties. I certainly was not there; but it fascinates me. One summer I watched a documentary about the times. The music and the psychedelic colors aroused my senses. Girls in long multi-colored skirts swayed to music on the lawn; while, impassioned pacifists held crude signs. Leaving the theater, I was captivated not by the hippie, but by their spirit– their direction.

One morning I marched downstairs to the breakfast table. It was like a revelation. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. “I want to be a fashion designer,” I announced. I passionately told my mother of the design school I researched. I was proud. “That is not a four-year university,” my mother scoffed. Satisfaction turned to shame. The life I had created in my head was not good enough for my mother. Years later, I am still disappointed in myself for letting my dreams go. I bet those hippies wouldn’t have listened to their parents.

The images I saw on the screen that day never left me. The hippies dined with freedom and danced with peace. Their confidence made me lose mine. Did I have any convictions? I believed in God, but nothing else of great importance. My accolades and my future success defined me. Life was turbulent and full of deadlines. I ultimately did not believe in myself, but in the young lady I was supposed to be. I had no inner peace.

I cannot believe in living everyday to the fullest. Some days just won’t allow it, but I will live it free. The fettered life is one of contempt and it often misses beauty. To the hippies I watched, everything was beautiful. They saw extraordinary in fall leaves. They saw discovery in travel. Every couple of days, now, I tattoo a peace sign on my inner wrist. It is small and primitive, much like my ideology. The symbol does not conjure up images of cease fire, but rather paints an image of inner stillness. Drawing it reminds me of who I am, but mostly of who I would like to be.