Emilio - Fort Collins, Colorado
Entered on March 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • 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.


At the turn of the century I had very little to worry about. Picture a kid with baggy pants hanging off his rear and roaming through the trailer park like he is ten feet tall. That kid was me, I thought no matter what I did no one could touch me. Little did I know, the consequences of my actions would come back to bite me in my fully exposed butt.

In the days of Junior High, getting into trouble seemed to be the thing to do. One night my so called friend said to me, “hey dude I double dog dare you to break into that car.” Since my ego was much higher than I wore my pants, I accepted. We walked away with some change in our pockets and an invigorating feeling best described as taking a ride on a roller coaster. The next few months we snuck out at night and obtained this great feeling over and over again. It wasn’t till my dad found a car stereo under my bed that this seized to continue. The aftermath I faced was my dad calling the cops. I spent one year on probation and had to repay every penny that I stole.

Getting caught forced me to change my ways. High School was a bit different. I stayed out of trouble and studied hard. I worked part time and graduated with a 3.5 G.P.A. During these years I found that accumulating things with my hard earned money was more intoxicating than taking them. After I graduated I bought a car, video games, televisions and stereos. Although I would soon come to find that some of the joy of having these amenities would be short lived.

At the age of twenty I experienced what it felt like to get something stolen from me for the first time. The pioneer sound system, in my Probe GT, could set off car alarms one hundred feet away. I guess having twelve inch sub woofers created a bit of attention, because three days after I got them they were taken. My living situation was not the greatest at the time. I had many tattooed thugs for neighbors, and I often wondered if they even had jobs. All day they would just sit outside their houses and watch cars drive by. I then thought to my self “it could have been them that took my stereo,” and I decided to move after my lease was up.

Even after I changed neighborhoods the same thing happened to me three more times. To add to the countless broken windows, there were quite a few dents in the side of my door. These were put there by my own stupidity and frustration. It seemed no matter where I went the actions of my past would come back to haunt me. Today, I continue to make choices that are positive. Once a month my family and I bring food to the park, near the homeless shelter, and have a big barbecue. The people I have met there come from all walks of life and are always appreciative.

The opportunity for favorable deeds happens quite often in my life. Whether its someone stranded on the side of the road, or a person in need of a place to stay for a few days. I will do my best to help them. I believe, what goes around comes around. The decisions I make today will come back to me. Hopefully my good karma will soon start to fill the circle.