This I Believe

Bethany - Loveland, Colorado
Entered on May 6, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in living life to the fullest.

Far too many times in life I have let good times and opportunities pass me by.

I suffer from anxiety attacks and because of that, I tend to sustain from most everyday activities such as: going to lunch with friends, being in large groups or driving around town. I feel safest when at home. Therefore going on a big trip out of state never crossed my mind.

I never realized how much that I was missing out on. It is my senior year, a year that is meant to be spent out having fun and making memories. However, almost every day while all of my friends were out, I was sitting at home by myself watching reruns of reality television shows. It wasn’t until one day when my best friend finally said something that I actually realized I had been spending my life in a cave. He said, “I really miss hanging out with you Bethany,” and at that moment I knew I had to start facing my fears and going out more. I wasn’t happy being alone all the time, and I would never get my wasted time back.

Although I began to go out more and spend time with friends, that’s about as far as I went with facing fears. I heard about a trip that my church was planning on taking, it was called the International Affair Seminar and it entailed going to New York and Washington DC to talk to our representatives and senators about the United States interaction with other countries. I thought about how exciting that trip would be, but if being in a car scared me, a plane surely would and New York is known for its crowded streets and subways. I was not ready to put myself in that situation. But after many talks with my family and youth minister, I decided to give it a chance.

I had never learned so much and had as much fun as I did on that trip. Although I might have felt a lot of anxiety and fear throughout the trip, I made it through. We met with our local government in DC, walked around the National Mall, saw a show on Broadway and grew incredible friendships. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and if I didn’t take a chance, it would have passed me by.

We only get one life to live. And I for one am not okay with letting it pass me by.

I believe in getting the most from life.