This I Believe

Rebecca - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Mistakes. They happen no matter how careful you are. Trying to avoid them only delays the inevitable. Mistakes. They always help you, whether it be a lesson or otherwise. Sometimes great amounts of time and effort are needed to get past your mistakes and appreciate their lessons.

“She was mistaken to have been with them,” they all said, “He is nothing, but an error in judgment.” Words of this nature were often used when referring to my father. I have learned that they were all correct in saying these things. Friends, family, co-workers alike saw my father for who he was before my mother and I could. He was a mistake, but all mistakes have their purposes and the one that my father served was to provide my mother with a child. Sure, my mother had hoped for more from him, like a loving relationship, but a fairytale life was not in store for us. When I asked my mother to reflect on this time of our lives she said,

“I knew I was going to be raising you alone, the day after you were born.” As she puts it, her husband was not cut out to be my father. But even those that we regard as so wise can make mistakes.

My mother made a mistake in keeping all of our money in an account that he could access. When I get married I will have two separate accounts, one for my family’s welfare and one that my husband can use to gamble away an addiction. My mother made a mistake in allowing him to leave for extended periods of time without asking questions. To her it was not worth an argument to know where a few hours had gone. In my relationships I will hold interest and express concern to my loved ones about where they go. My mother made a mistake in trusting him. I will love, but not always trust; and will not wait until trust is broken to confront the people that I love.

My father made a mistake by hitting her. I will not put up with abuse in any relationship I venture into and I will take my mother’s lead to get out. My father made a mistake when he kidnapped me. My mother was persistent in finding me and it saved my life. If my child was ever taken I would take the steps that she took to replace my lost child. My father made the mistake of trusting her. If I am with an abusive, addictive, and dangerous man I will take the first opportunity that presents itself to leave.

I have learned from other’s mistakes. Being a part of them has helped me to become a better person; stronger and smarter. Although I will make my own mistakes in life, I will not make the ones I have seen others make. Mistakes are inevitable. Mistakes are a learning experience in their own.