All The Small Things

Jessi - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I sat. I stared at the minute hand ticking by. I listened to my teacher talk to my peers. What do I believe? I had no idea. What do I believe? I still had no idea. My life is strung together by bad choices and dark moments. Depression, suicide, rape, hatred. But I’m still here, meaning I must have something to live for. What do I believe in? I believe in the small things. The little bursts of joy or humor that make me continue down the road.

I remember lying in bed one Saturday morning, too upset and lethargic to move, when my dog came bounding into my room. She licked my face then lied down next to me. Coco put a smile on my face for the first time in days without even noticing. My dad, a man who aggravates, teases, and loves me, does one of the most simple, yet special things for me. Every Sunday morning he carefully goes through The New York Times and picks out my favorite sections. He leaves them lying on the counter, next to my daily medicine and where I always eat breakfast so I am sure to read them. When I told my dad how much I appreciated this, he was shocked. He had no idea such a mundane task could mean so much to me.

Everyday, I try to embrace little aspects of life that make me smile. I slow down and look deeply into the eyes of the world. I see a man hold the door open for a hands- filled woman or watch classmates consol each other after a bad grade. Simply a small gesture that means so much. Or my boyfriend, sensing I’m upset, squeezes my hand, instantly reminding me it will be okay. When I get home, my sister often shows me an art project she made, her creativity radiating from every pore. She places sunshine in my mind once more by reminding me of the beauty of something as minute and easy as a child’s art project.

Because people do so many things for me, I always feel the need to pass on the act of love. Everyday, I also try to make someone’s day. Whether it is buying a friend sherbet at lunch or commenting on a cute shirt, I believe this truly can make an impact on a life. My friend Brandon once told me a story about a very lonely man. The man decided he would walk to a nearby bridge and then commit suicide, unless someone, anyone, smiled at him. He jumped. If I could be that person who smiles and makes someone’s day better, I would know that my life was not a waste. I would know that I added goodness into a broken world. I would know that I had made a difference, even by such an involuntary act.

Simple, minute, small, easy, and often forgotten tasks and actions that make all the difference. This I believe.