My Life Is Not Defined By The Events That Shape It

Jason - Saugus, California
Entered on May 1, 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.

I once heard a quote from a friend that said, “I can sum up life in three words, ‘It Goes On.’” I believe this wise statement completely defines my life. Looking back on my life, I know there have been a lot of things that have happened that I either wish hadn’t happened or would have turned out better. But, in the end, I know there is a reason for everything, and, most importantly, there is a plan. I might not ever know what that is. If I find out, I might not even like what it has in store, but knowing that life will go on, even when bad things happen, gives me hope for the rest of my life.

I like to believe that life will go on, if for no other reason, because I have the will to keep going. Another insightful quote I like to think about when things don’t turn out the way I wish they would have says, “In the end, it will all be OK. If it’s not OK, then it’s not the end!” I know that if I just sit at home, sulking my life away when things don’t go how I had planned, then I don’t deserve to know how things will ultimately turn out. I grew up being taught by my parents that the world is a good place and sometimes good things happen to bad people and I can either accept it or not, but that’s how the world is.

I, along with everyone I know, has had things go badly. Some of the worst that I can think of that have happened in my life are that my dad had open heart surgery when I was 12 years old; when my dad went back to work, after 6 months he was laid-off and has been in and out of jobs for the last several years; I didn’t get into my first choice college and chose to go to my second choice instead; I lost out on getting a job that I thought would have been the answer to my prayers on how to pay for school because I made a bad choice. After looking at all these things, each, if standing alone, would not be too terrible to deal with, I realized that each and every event in my life has made me into the person I am today. I would not trade anything for the experiences I have had because they set the stage for how the rest of my life will turn out.

In the end, all will turn out right. Bad things will happen and I know that how I deal with them defines me more as a person than those events ever could. Faith that life will go on, no matter how bad things are going now, is one of my most cherished values. Life goes on whether good things happen or not…this I believe.