Being Me

Patricia - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on May 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in being confident. I always trust the decisions that I made, because at the end of the day, I am the one who has to live with them. With some faith, I can get up off the rock near the path of my life, and get on the path with all of the self-reliance I need.

I was at a swim meet last summer and I added time on a race, I was pretty upset with myself. While I was leaving the pool deck, there was sudden clapping, and I knew that it wasn’t for me. So, when I turned around there was a girl with one leg who had just finished her race. She strapped on her false leg when she exited the pool. I was instantly happy for her, here I was upset about adding one second, and she had all of the confidence in the world to swim without a leg in front of a crowd. I felt like the reality check truck had hit me, I was so oblivious to my surroundings. I realized how selfish I had been, I was truly ashamed of myself. She was amazing and was most definitely the hardest working child I had ever met. I was proud just to be her swimming colleague, because she had accomplished so much.

After seeing that, I try to be as confident as possible, because then it can rub off on other people. It’s kind of like the Liberty Mutual commercial, when one person sees something good happen, so they do something good, and the chain repeats itself. Well, I think that there is a lack of confidence out there in the world, and I want to start the chain that changes that.

My confidence chain was almost broken by one situation that I knew I was going to have to take care of. I will be traveling on a People to People Trip this summer, and we have meetings every few months to get to know our traveling companions. When I walked into the room, there was a cold feeling of loneliness looming in the air. I have to spend three weeks in Europe with all of these people? What if they all think that I’m weird? I was scared out of my mind, and I had no idea where my confidence had gone. I think that it had run out the door along with my personality. I was terrified of acting like a wall and turning others away. I had never really been in a “be yourself” situation, and now, my only choice was to be myself. So, I tried my hardest, and yes, I did end up creating some friendships.

I think that gaining confidence, has been one large lesson and I have learned so much about myself. Listening to your heart has a lot of good baggage along with it, like reaching the goals that you set for yourself. I am a lot more open now too, I can share my opinions in an argument, and I can talk to just about anyone. I’m not shy and I’m ready for any challenge that’s thrown my way, because I know that every situation has a way of working itself out in the end. I live the best when I am just being me.

I believe in being confident.