This I Believe

Being inspired in ordinary ways by ordinary people

I don’t want to die knowing that I didn’t impact people in some way. I don’t want to die knowing that my life will soon be forgotten. I want to die knowing that I helped people, affected someone, and made a difference in someone’s life.

But so does everyone.

Friday morning, my ceramics teacher took us to listen to the senior English class perform their “I Believe” speeches. It is a tradition I’m told, that every year this is a requirement for senior students as they get up in front of a small audience in Sequoia’s Carrington Hall and read their essay on a certain topic, a deep topic. I really had no idea what to expect.

One by one, students took the long trek from their front row seats, up to the podium on stage… all by themselves. Bright lights shone down on each and every one of them as they revealed to complete strangers what made them who they are.

They talked about everything from their theories on religion, to watching their dad beat up their mom, to proposing to their five-month girlfriend.

Their speeches inspired me immensely. People that I passed by in the hall every day had dealt with cancer. They had lost one of their parents. They had dealt with so much more than I could ever possibly imagine.

People are blind sometimes to things right in front of them. For example, for two days I passed by a dead spider on the side of my hallway. I hate spiders. I asked my mom three days later if she had killed it. I guess I sort of missed the memo. 

I don’t pay attention to a lot of things I guess. I’m actually sort of oblivious.

I never can seem to get at any hint of anything, so don’t try and drop any on me… it probably won’t end well. I am always the last one to get any joke told. Everyone laughs, and then twenty minutes later I crack up. Whoops. Kind of a bust.

But I guess that’s just the way I am, just like every one else has their own little trademarks.

This I believe.

I believe that everyone was created for a specific purpose, with their whole life in mind. I believe that everyone is capable of becoming whatever they wish if they are willing to invest hard work and time into it. I believe in the people of my generation. I believe that even though some people may tell us we are a lost cause, but we are most certainly not. I believe that everyone needs love to survive. I believe that without it, one will fail to function. I believe in my family, my friends, and everyone that I come in contact with.

I hope for a world where we will look at people that we have never seen before and smile, and that it won’t be considered weird. I hope that when I grow up I can make a difference in a way that will never be forgotten. I hope that one day, people will not be limited because of their age.

I am fifteen. I am a teenager. I am a horrible dancer, but Dancing With The Stars is my dream (Len Goodman… I want a 10).  I want to be an English Teacher. I want to study abroad. I want to be fluent in Spanish.

This I believe. That if I had not come to , my life would be a whole lot different. And, right now, I don’t want it to change one bit.

So to all the people that stood up and shared their stories, I thank you. I commend your courage to share with those that you have never met before. It will take you far in life, farther than you could ever imagine yourself going. Courage and bravery are beautiful things. This I believe.

Want to get updates from Laurel all week long? Follow her on Twitter at @LivingasLaurel


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Merrily May 23, 2012 at 03:16 AM
This I believe, also! I believe in YOU!!! Keep up the great work. Merrily
Dennis Anderson September 04, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Laurel Dearborn is a GEM. I attended Sequoia High 60 years before Laurel but she makes me more proud to be an alumnus than anyone else (well, except maybe Dick Cesarin and the Gaughran brothers). Keep growing Laurel. You are the best of us.


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