Yesterday, No More

Ben - Maria Stein, Ohio
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • 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.

The game of life is a difficult one. There are no die, no user’s manual, and no remote. All actions that occur do so without a whisper of our consent or protest. Despite all of its oddities, it is my belief that people should live life to the fullest.

My own past has been anything but ideal. From the time I was born I’ve experienced things I would never wish upon my worst enemy. I’ve seen my brother have his life dragged out of him as my Dad accidentally backed over him, heard the sound of his dying breaths gargled through the fountain of blood billowing out of his mouth, and tasted the salty tears that never came. I’ve been roused from my warm and comfortable bed only to receive news that four of friends and classmates have died while my peers party in the rooms around me. I’ve been through all of this and more, and still I live.

Though it’s easy to use past events as an excuse for almost anything, the fact of the matter is that it’s not healthy and it’s not right. Believe me; I tried doing the same thing myself for years on end. Regardless of how long it takes you to heal, life will continue whether you’re ready or not. You can sit idly, and beg for sympathy, or you can come to terms with what happened, and move on with your life.

I chose to do the former and have always regretted it. After a particularly painful death in the family, I began drinking away my grief, and took advantage of some people I knew to dull my pain. I was living a despicable life.

Only after the intervention of some adults in my community, and some of my peers did I realize my folly. Casting aside my bitterness, I slowly began to open up, and interact with people. It was only then that I was invited out to parties with my classmates, and was acknowledged as a human being, rather than a mere psychotic, angst-ridden teenager. Those days would be some of the best of my life. My new-found friends and I laughed and talked about our ambitions for the future, and complimented each other on current achievements and awards. There was a time for the fallen as well, defined by a shrill silence that permeated even the household pets of the house I was at.

Now that you’ve heard my two cents, I only ask you to consider my words. I made the choice a long time ago that I wasn’t about to let my shortcomings get to me. Sure, I made mistakes, but then again, who hasn’t? I’ve made too many friends, and done too many great things for me to simply quit now. Even if you don’t think you have, you probably did. If not, then go out and achieve something, even if for yourself. Life is short. So live it, and live it well.