A Change in me.

Ashley - alpine,, Utah
Entered on October 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

The world at times has been a cruel and hard place, especially to grow up in. But amidst that cruel darkness there have been moments, even fleeting moments of joy, love and pure peace. When I was much younger I struggled to find my place in my small, but very important society.

It began with a girl. I was young and experiencing school for the first time. I struggled to leave behind everything I knew and held dear as I began school. As I walked through those tall, teal doors I felt something, that I had not felt, a fluttery type of feeling in my stomach, and mind was racing, faster then I could ever run. It was not a good, nor was it a pleasant feeling, I felt an urge to turn around and rush back to my mother’s warm, comfortable and familiar arms. In a few days I soon learned a word for that new feeling I was experiencing, I was both nervous and fearful that day and for many more days to come.

I learned much that year I went preschool. One of the many things I learned was that some people have a desire to be on the top of the social ladder, and they will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. I met one such girl in my preschool class, she refused to let me play with anyone or any toys that looked even just a little bit fun. And since there were only 15 children in the school she easily accomplished that goal, she helped me to develop a fear, one that would take years to overcome.

I was a timid child, often unsure of what I wanted to do. I trembled at the thought of making myself known, and when I was forced to join groups of people. For the next ten years of my life I had only one semi-constant friend, who was my best friend only when it benefited her. But mostly she would spread around nasty rumors about me, to turn others against me, and render me friendless, and by doing this she aided in the process of belittling my already non-existent self- confidence even more. My mom eventually realized that I needed help to overcome these fears, so with her help and the help of others I slowly began the process to release myself from the social prison I had built and lived in for many years of my short life. In junior high I even went so far to break down my mental walls that I tried out for our school play and even made call backs for the main role in the play. By high school I tried out and made my schools Ballroom dance team. Soon I had almost fully emerged from my shell of insecurities, thanks to my newfound friends. I soon had friends for every one of my dispositions and for all the activities I wanted to do. Ariel was probably one of my best friends and greatest supports during the remaining years of high school. From her help and others help and support on team I was soon able to be myself and learn a very important lesson, that a majority of the people will accept you for who you are as long as you are your true self. I will always be grateful to that group of friends for being there for me for every moment of my life, through the fleeting moments of joy and laughter and through the bad and not so good times. I learned so much during those years and although at the time I could not see how those trials and experiences were helping me to grow, now that I am past them in life I can see and be grateful for the lessons they taught and how they have shaped who I am today with my standards, ethics, and how I treat other people. I am especially grateful for those lessons I have learned as I have started living on my own in college. I have learned to stand up for myself, and if need be to stand up for others, and I have learned the art of friendship because it is indeed an art form.