Restoring Belief Through Experience

Kari - Garden City, Michigan
Entered on October 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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Growing up, I was given the perfect life. My parents were and still are married; I have one older brother, and a dog. I was instilled with high morals and values that I live by and our family never went through any struggles or hardships to get to where we are. My family was the all-American family. It seems nice, however I got extremely bored with the lifestyle and with my go-getter attitude decided that I would move and get away from it all. I would make my move across the entire country to the city where dreams come true… Los Angeles.

Living out there met all my expectations and a whole lot more. I realized how directly I was faced with the world now and that I was alone in doing so. I had never been so independent and free. The world was so much bigger than I had ever known it to be living in my small hometown city in the Midwest. Who knew there was so much out there? Who knew how great it was to be free? I couldn’t have been happier.

It wasn’t until long though that reality would give me a big smack in the face. I saw crimes and drug deals taking place before my very eyes. I saw people searching helplessly through garbage cans and dumpsters for meals. I saw self-absorbed businessmen and women ranting and raving about this and that on their blackberries crossing 9th and Grand. It was a place like any other that I have ever seen and was a drastic change from the life I had known so well. I, sooner than later, had come to realize that this place, this almost wilderness, was not for me. I realized that being home was where I felt most comfortable and most like me. Nevertheless, I found that my belief in my very own family had begun to fade and this is what it took to open my eyes. My adolescent behavior, I think, had overcome my belief in my family and how important they truly are to me. For people that have dysfunctional families, or families that deal with major life-changing issues, or don’t have a family at all I am more than thankful for because they helped me to appreciate the goodness that my family supplied and how I may have taken that for granted. I learned a huge lesson and experienced something more eye-opening than I had hoped for when venturing out.

Believing in something doesn’t always mean religion or having faith in something that may or may not exist. Having a strong and true belief in something, to me, means simply standing for that something and taking pride in it. It is within my very own family that I have found to have such a strong belief in, which I always will. I know that I can believe in them because they are my rock and they will never go away. I feel that without them standing by be, none of the things that I do or may do could be possible and that ultimately, my belief in myself to always do well would not be as strong.