There is a Silver Lining around Every Cloud

Montana - Guilderland, New York
Entered on March 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that there is a silver lining around every cloud. I have learned from past experiences that no one has a perfect life, but what we have we can make better. In my life I have experienced sudden changes that I didn’t understand as a kid, and I’m still trying to understand those things as I grow. When I was little, I, like most young children, had not a care in the world. I lived life happily and without regret or remorse. Today I wish I could say the same thing, but unfortunately I think that we all regret things we do. In 1998 my parents divorced, and as a 7-year-old I didn’t really understand the concept, nor did I really care. I still got to see both of my parents and they both loved me, so why should I care about how they feel towards each other? That was kind of the first time I needed a silver lining around a cloud.

After my parents divorced I found out that we were moving, that is my dad and soon to be step-mom and new baby half-brother. I then watched my sister fail ninth grade, I think she took the divorce a little harder than I did, and go off to boarding school up north in Hoosick Falls. Mid-way through fifth grade I had moved out of Altamont and into Guilderland with my dad’s side of the family, and my mom had moved to Connecticut. Moving out of Altamont seemed to be more traumatizing for me than anything up to that point had been, although that might have been a slight overreaction.

That summer after fifth grade I went with my mom to Australia for three weeks. That was my first real vacation besides Disney World, and it was a lot of fun. We traveled up and down the east coast, snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, and got to see that really big random rock in the middle of the desert. Although I didn’t realize it then, this was probably my mom’s way of compensating for moving to Connecticut, so the trip to Australia turned out to be a silver lining.

After coming back from Australia, I was in sixth grade. In May my second half-brother was born, and the rivalry between brothers was started. Having a second little brother was the opposite of a silver lining on a cloud; it was more like there was a dull patch on a bar of silver. The fights between my brothers are nonstop, I think it’s the closeness in age coupled with the two boys. But there needn’t be a silver lining around that. That summer my mom brought me to Canada, north of Montreal to a town called St. Donat, I don’t have much to say about that except that the fudge in a French bakery there was delicious.

The summer after seventh grade I went to Mexico, again with my mom. I had gone places with my dad, but that consisted of Disney. In Mexico I got to go to a “school” filled with Americans where I learned some Spanish, and stayed with a Mexican host family. We traveled a little around Mexico, Taxco, Acapulco, and Teotihuacán, but our host family lived in Cuernavaca. I even got to climb a pyramid. It was a lot of fun usually and very educational. Going to school there could be considered a silver lining in itself, but I think that it’s the cloud and the rest was the silver lining. My mom had by now earned the right to the title of the parent who brought me to all of the places with different cultures.

Though sixth, seventh and eighth grade basically sucked, the summers were a lot of fun. The summer after eighth grade I went to British Columbia with my mom, who else. She had bought a house there and thought it would be nice if we lived in it for a while. That was fun, but the summer wasn’t over yet. My dad had just bought a house on Lake George, in Ticonderoga. So I didn’t really spend much time in Guilderland. The next few years for me didn’t require a silver lining because they were great.

But by the next summer, something was missing, I had been all over the world, but I hadn’t gone to one place. Montana. So that year I went with my mom on a cross-country trip during which we stopped in Montana for a week. So I had finally been to Montana. We continued on our trip to British Columbia, and then I later went to Lake George. Then there was 10th grade, then the summer, same routine. Except this time I climbed a mountain in British Columbia with some Canadians.

I’ve been trying in the past few years to be happy and not need a silver lining because I don’t have any clouds. So far so good.