This I Believe

Jamie - Newmarket, New Hampshire
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Me, Myself, and My Decisions

Waving her finger in my face, my mother reprimanded me. She told me in a stern voice, “You live exponentially to the decisions you make, little lady.” When she said this to me, I was a rebellious teenager and what did I do? I rolled my eyes and thought to myself … what does exponentially mean?

I had no one but myself to blame for being reprimanded by my mother. It was wintertime; a thick blanket of snow covered the dead grass and the bare branches of the leafless trees. Some friends had invited me to a bonfire. I accepted the invitation because I had the wintertime blues and I wanted to get out of the house. Little did I know I would end up at the Police Station.

On our way to the bonfire, we parked our cars in a field and then followed a set of footprints that had been left behind into the woods. Upon approaching the gathering, I could smell the wood burning, and I could see the flames randomly shooting up and out like a small fireworks display giving way to smoke. This was probably how the police found us so soon because it wasn’t long until they showed up and took a bunch of us into protective custody.

No one had obtained a fire permit, so the police viewed it as an uncontrolled burn. I remember the knots in my stomach just before I had to call my mom and ask her to come retrieve me from the police station so late at night.

Thankfully, my mother came to pick me up. She laid into me for making such a poor decision, which was when she told me in a stern voice, “You live exponentially to the decisions you make, little lady.” That was the longest car ride ever, and I will never forget it.

My mom wanted to see me doing bigger and better things than being picked up from the Police Station. I felt like I had let my mom down and I felt lost because it seemed like everyone had a plan for me … but me. It was then that I realized I needed my own plan. I knew I needed my own plan so that I could check in with me and make sure I was on the right path … my own path.

I have the capability and the morality to make good decisions because that was the way I was brought up. I believe I own my decisions¬¬¬?good, bad, and indifferent?as they have shaped who I am today. I believe that I can learn and grow from making a poor decision, and I believe indecision is a decision. My decisions reflect who I am and how I live my life. I will only get one chance at life, so I need to make it good and make it worthwhile: It is my life so I will decide.

~Jamie Tumbarello