Mary - Elgin, Illinois
Entered on December 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • 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.

Throughout my life I’ve always smiled. I was known as the upbeat and happy one, not the unfriendly and rude one. I didn’t realize it until I got older, but even when I was little and smiling I was just living my life – inspired by everyday things. Back then I was a dreamer, I fantasized about things like creature that weren’t real, but it just put a smile on my face to think about the imaginary worlds I could create. When I was little, I was inspired by my surroundings and my imagination. Now that I’m older, I’m inspired in other ways. My inspiration comes from different nooks and crannies of my life, and without the spark of inspiration the brightens up my life; I would have no hope whatsoever. I believe that without inspiration there is no dream, no hope and no aspiration, so therefore – nothing is possible.

This past December, during my volleyball club season, I fractured my back, leaving me unable to run or work out (my favorite things to do.) As a result, I gained about ten pounds and this was just the start of my problems. My grades also began slipping and my reputauon of being upbeat and an always smiling person vanished. My grades sropped so low that it eventually led to my removal from the Gifted and Talented Academy; the elite academic school within in a school, of which I was apart. But it still wasn’t over. My so-called group of friends has been steadily leaving me out of activities and at one point I realized I hit rock bottom. Losing my friends, gaining weight, injuries and lower-than low grades had come at me all at once.

Somehow, some way, I picked myself out of this black hole of physical mental and emotional issues. I wasn’t the same person I was before this all happened, but because I was able to come out of such a predicament, I inspired myself. I never knew I was capable of this and I was inspired by my strength of character. The inspiration that used to come from my imaginaton now came from inside of me. A nook and cranny in my life where I didn’t even realize inspiration could be. I was gaining hope from the spark I found inside me; hope that was assuring me that everything is possible with inspiration.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, it can be valued in many ways and everyone is inspired differently. By life without that spark is like a face without a smile.