Past, Present, and Future

Julia - Baltimore, Maryland
Entered on December 17, 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.

I believe that everyone should look forward to happy occasions and moments. It’s part of what we do as human beings! Going through hard times in our lives can be made better by looking forward and hoping.

The most commonly anticipated events are the big ones. Holidays, birthdays, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, vacations and much more.

Others, including me, wait for little things in our everyday lives that give us an “excitement flash” when they arrive. These events are sometimes so small that they might not even appear on the radar screen of our peers. Getting a test back, sports practice, or even just seeing a familiar face could spark a tiny flame of hope and happiness.

When going through a rough time, looking forward or hoping can save someone. I believe that when people are going through a hard stretch they seem to be looking down. Looking down on the gray, rough, hard pavement of a sidewalk that goes on forever. Staring at the sidewalk as if they were part of the rough, hard surface. Looking forward is as if someone takes that person’s head and lifts it up. “Don’t give up,” they would say, “Look forward and hope.”

At this point most people are probably thinking, “What does she look forward to?” or “This is the most random topic possible!” or even “Write about something that REALLY affects all of us!” Well I think this topic affects every person. I’ve been down this road before. The road of the endless sidewalk. In 2005 my Great-Grandmother passed away. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I could tell that all my family was really upset and shaken by it. I was very upset by it too. I was right there on the endless sidewalk. I didn’t know how to act around my grandma and great aunt and uncle. I tried to help them but I did not succeed. When I tried to help them it didn’t help me. My sister Emma’s Bat- Mitzvah was quickly approaching. We were so busy preparing for it that my head was forced up very quickly. After Emma’s Bat- Mitzvah many good events were coming quickly, one after another. I looked forward to each of them. Looking forward really did save me. If looking forward had not come to my aid I would still be staring down at the pavement. It told me that I had to go on with life. Sad things were going to happen but I had to keep going.

Just a couple weeks ago I found myself again on the road. This time I felt like I was thrown head first down on the pavement without a choice. My grandfather was very ill. I was worried out of my mind. My whole family was. Once again looking forward fluttered to my side and held my hand. It pointed out how I had so many good events to look forward to. One of my close camp friends was having a little reunion. Very soon I would see all of my camp friends whom I had not seen since the summer. I had just made A team for field hockey and my first game was approaching. All my friends were being so nice to me. They didn’t know about what was happening in my life but I could tell they would support me. It was the best feeling ever.

I realized that it wasn’t just me who was on that road. I felt like there were hundreds of people standing right along side me, waiting hopefully for their time to be lifted up. Everyone has been down that road before. Sadly there are people still standing there today. But they will be lifted up soon.

These experiences have changed my life forever. I will never be the same person that I was. I have learned that even in times of trouble help can find me. Everyone looks forward to different happy occasions and moments. We do it just because we are humans. It’s part of our nature. Now all we need to do is make that part of us stronger.