This I Believe

Gabrielle - Norwalk, Iowa
Entered on January 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

One of my favorite things to do after a hard softball practice, a stressful day, or after just getting done with some homework is to indulge in my favorite treat: a Dove chocolate miniature. I love this treat for two reasons: chocolate is my favorite sugary treat and I am fond of the messages that are typed on the inside of the foil. Some of the messages I have received in the past that I saved and agree with are: there’s no excuse not to dream, send a love letter this week, and laugh uncontrollably… it clears the mind. Although these would be great messages to believe in and live by, there is one that trumps them all which will be explained throughout the essay.

I promise myself to be a leader on the college softball team I have the privilege of playing on. I am a sophomore and have learned so many things after my freshmen year that will make the team better. Our softball motto is: Play Tough, Eliminate Drama. Our coach prepares us for the “playing tough” part, and the “eliminate drama” part is hard to do with twenty-five other girls on the team. We actually don’t have too many issues with drama and when we do we straighten them out on our own because we are a team and we have to play as one. I try to be a leader in a few ways. The main way is by making it a point to get to know each person individually and not to judge anyone. Each one of my teammates comes into the college softball program with different backgrounds, experiences, and issues. I try to be a leader by respecting each person and always having a smile on my face. I also stay positive and encourage my teammates everyday.

I promise myself to always stay connected to my family. I have a brother who is two years older than me and a sister who is two years younger than me. My brother is in his last year of college and I have lunch with him every once and a while. Also, he still will help me with homework if I need it, because we all know he is the genius of the family. My sister is a junior in high school and we are still so close and I always invite her to do things with me and we even baby-sit together. We share an amazing sisterly bond that I wouldn’t trade for anything. My parents have always supported me and want me to have a better life than they had, which started with me going to college. I only live twenty-five miles from home, so I make frequent trips back and usually talk to one of my parents everyday. I love my family and they have made me the person I am today.

I promise myself to be a role model to children. I have worked in my church nursery for over four years and absolutely love being involved in children’s lives. I worked at a kid’s camp over the summer as a counselor and was devoted to being there everyday to allow that special getaway for kids to have fun and not have a worry in the world. I baby-sit constantly for my cousins, children from kid’s camp, and families that know my cousins or children from kid’s camp. I am a role model for all of these kids whether I understand it or not. I understand that children behave exactly as they see older kids or adults behave. For this reason, I behave the best when I am around children and love to interact and teach them new things.

After coming back to my nice warm suite on the college campus, I take off my winter coat and boots, turn on a taping of Grey’s Anatomy and grab a Dove chocolate. I slowly start to unwrap the foil, hardly being able to wait for the message inside and the chocolate on my tongue that is so silky smooth, meant just for me. I pop the chocolate in my mouth while reading the message: Keep the promises you make to yourself. This is what I believe.