This I Believe

Kaitlyn - The Woodlands, Texas
Entered on March 4, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: purpose, question
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Inside a Stagecoach

As a little girl, my dad and I used to have a picnic once a week. We sat inside an old stagecoach at our city park, enjoying the beautiful day while we would munch on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches washed down with kool-aid. He would always ask me about what I had done that morning, and I would tell him things such as all the updates on my latest Barbie saga, or how I had helped mom put up clothes from the laundry room. We would talk about how I would be starting school soon, and even about what I might want to be when I grew up. My answers would vary, but I was always ambitious with my replies that spanned the distance from a doctor to a singer, a lawyer to a soldier, a journalist to a princess. These times quickly passed to where I am today, a junior in high school. When faced with this same simple question, I do not feel so confident, and I do not feel so ambitious. If anything, I feel anxious about all the decisions I will have to imminently be making within the next two years. There are so many choices, so many questions. Where do I want to go to school? How will I be able to afford it? What can I see myself doing in ten years? Overwhelming is an understatement. But everyone has had to or will have to face this same challenge. Whether attending a prestigious university or pursuing a career out of high school, everyone must come to a crossroads where being a teenager and becoming an adult collide, where being sheltered and becoming completely independent finally meet.

I must confess, this challenge has not been easily tackled for me. Nothing I do is ever good enough, whether in the classroom, on the sport’s field, or writing music, feeling proud of myself or accomplished is hard for me. Learning how to overcome this has been painful, but sometimes you must fall and hit rock bottom before you can soar high above what you ever expected. Happiness is a choice. Even when life turns a direction you do not want, how you handle the situation is all you can control and all that matters. I have figured out that I need to love the people around me, love myself, love life, and find excitement in all the small things. Taking the time to sit down and count my blessings will quickly put life into perspective, and like my dad taking the time to have lunch with me once a week inside an old carriage, investing into other people’s lives instead of constantly watching my own back will bring me through any trials to an outstanding victory.