This I Believe…The Power of Being Lost

Baileigh - Ventura, California
Entered on June 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Everyone in their life has lost something they loved and it has made them a stronger person from that experience. To me, I had a best friend named Sean who always knew what to say, when to say it, and always how to make me laugh, no matter how lame his jokes were. We became best friends in 8th grade, and our friendship was the most powerful bond ever, that no one and nothing could come between us. With his company, and mine with him, we were never alone and always had a companion to be with us through thick and thin.

Sean had developed an explicit drinking addiction that controlled his every thought and action. By the end of 8th grade, he had tried everything in the book. One warm, full mooned night, Sean had appeared at a party and had become intoxicated by one drink leading to another and another, subconsciously drinking by the liter. On our way home, his friend was driving the small beat- up sedan on a bumpy road up to where Sean lived. All I can remember is waking up in the hospital with a broken arm, and a brace firmly strapped to my neck with my parents, both with tears welling in their eyes, gazing over me with worry stricken faces. It was all the energy I could muster up to mumble the two words I feared the answer to most: Where’s Sean?

With a look of sympathy on my mom’s face, she turns her head away without thought, and walks out of the room. All my dad had to do was briefly shake his head and I knew immediately Sean was gone. I never thought in my life I would talk about this story again, but my belief is exactly that your experiences make you a better person and strengthen you spiritually. It’s what I have been through that has made me what I am today, insecurities and all. If I had known then what I know now, I would have protected Sean from becoming what we are now known as teenage stereotypes.

Mainly our mistakes are what we learn from the most, and though our parents protect us from making mistakes, in the end, we need to live to learn, to witness and to experience our own life. The belief in becoming stronger from our experiences has opened many people’s eyes to their misunderstandings and forced them to have a new perspective on life.

So just ask yourself; Are you what you want to be or what others expect of you?