This December, Advanced Composition students studied, wrote, and recorded audio essays. Students wrote and recorded their own "This I Believe" essays inspired by the weekly This I Believe Podcast. While we're publishing the text of each essay below, we strongly encourage you to listen to each student's audio essay for a more intimate experience.
Independence has become widely valued in our society. It's something that is achieved, not given. People become respected in their self-sufficiency, but too often we get caught in this mindset resulting in an over confidence in our own abilities.
I used to be like this, and to be honest, parts of me still are. Suspended in my own happenings, blurring the boundaries of how far I can go by myself. This wasn't my being selfish, was just merely my faithfulness in my own autonomy. I've struggled with epilepsy for a lot of my life, brought on by frantic environmental stimulation or sever exhaustion. I found my limits with this, pushing myself to see how far I could go without losing consciousness and clattering mentally. I did this without emotional reliance, hung up on the thought it was mine to handle, blocking out anyone who was, "Sorry for me". Something that I did not count on though, was how this trialed mentality carried with me. I never felt like I needed to stoop to a point where I would have to rely on others for support. This became a fault going forward, because as my negativity proliferated, I was never able to feel a sense of release; I kept it all inside.
As my head hung lower, so did my spirits. It wasn't so much of a matter of me refusing to reach out, as it was me letting people in. I saw others around me establishing a bond, but I was too naïve to be aware that they were based upon a mutual sentiment. My Lone Wolf approach to life morphed into a hindrance as I found that I was stranded in my emotional solitude. This millstone around my neck crushed the very part of me that was supposed to keep me together; and when I reached for help in the worst of my times, there was no one to be found.
I believe that people need somebody.
There is an undeniable part of our make-up that requires close people around us, people that we can express without fear to. Too often we see each other as judges of our character, and we are ignorant in this respect. The same person that sees me for my negative, has their own conflicts that they are dealing with internally. We should not criticize each other for these faulty factors, but instead realize that they are just another somebody in need of our acceptance.
This can be hard to do as our current world is convoluted with a social regard that classifies any heartfelt appeal as a sign of weakness. I know that this was true for me, and because of it, I thought I had some proud traction by my ability to care for myself. I thought that all I could possibly need for my own well being can be tended to by myself, but this is not the case. There are portions of us that irrevocably call for an outside voice. Not even to provide advice, just another body that could somehow sympathize with whatever we are feeling in the moment. To let us know that we do not have to bare all of these adversities by ourselves. Whoever this listener may be, let us dare not think selfish of ourselves. To be caught up in the idea that our problems would be openly jeered at is silly. We should instead see and have confidence in that they have their own taints about them as well, making them people that would not judge us for our own.