Believe in Me

Topic #213:

Who was the first person who believed in you? How did you discover this was true?

Response

People. 2. My parents. The answer to this question is pretty straightforward, though I probably don’t appreciate the truth in it. My parents have always done the best they know how to support me in accomplishing my goals, whatever they are at the moment. They gave me opportunities from an early age to develop my skills and allowed me to drop dance in exchange for soccer at the age of 7 when it became obvious that I preferred life on a field to that of little ballet outfits. They invested time in me and read with me and bought me books. They enrolled me in advanced classes when I was in 2nd grade, and supported me in my pursuits for academic excellence. My dad opened my eyes to the world around me by sitting and watching the news with me when he came home from work each day. They taught me what it meant to be a good person, and for as long as I can remember, they’ve let me be me.

I’m sure that there have been many other people who have believed in me over the years. Other people often believe in me more than I believe in myself. It follows this quote that I discovered last year, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” I think this true for many people. When you meet people, you basically check them out with an informal resume questionnaire.

If you’re a student, the questions are, in no particular order:

1. Where are you from?
2. What is your major?
3. What year are you?

After you finish your studies, the questions mutate a little bit, but not much:

1. What do you do?
2. Where are you from?
3. Why are you here?

It seems like after you finish college, your mental associations drop off quickly. We form ideas about people based on background information, and unfortunately, there’s usually a judgement associated with it. As I look towards moving, I feel very ambivalent about telling people how I spent my last year.  I don’t know if I really want to deal with the questions for answers that elude me still. Questions of why my plans changed, questions about what I think the future holds. But I can still tell them about where I’ve been, and let them come to their own conclusions.

Then there’s the mess inside my head, as per the first part of H.W.L’s quote. I judge myself by what I feel capable of doing. I don’t really think that I’m capable of all that much that is spectacular in any way. I know if I am looking through the eyes of someone else, there are things about me that are worth celebrating. But from my eyes looking forward, I fail to see the correlation between the past and the future. This is why I screw my eyes shut and step forward blindly, hoping that when I open my eyes, I’ll be happy with where I find myself. For my parents and everyone else who believes in me, I will keep walking forward in my pursuits to make the world a better place. Thank you for supporting me and my independent spirit as I continuously try to ascertain what that means. Thank you for encouraging me, and thank you for believing in me, even when I don’t believe in myself.

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