This I Believe

Imagine you wake up with your mother yelling at you. You’re going to brush your teeth and the toothpaste is dripping from your toothbrush. You get close to your car and you notice your car is parked awkwardly, it’s freezing, and it’s almost out of gas. You are driving to school and someone is driving up the back of your car for most of the trip. As you walk into your school, a kid gives you a dirty look. Once you’re in and walking down the hallway, you see a teacher that you had last year who hated you and he frowns at you. You enter your Spanish class with a grimace because you have to present a memorized poem in front of the whole class.

Imagine waking up, not with the sound of your alarm, but with your mother’s gentle voice. You’re about to put toothpaste on your toothbrush when you realize that your brother has already done that for you. You walk to your car and note that your father has already started the heat in your car. You’re driving to your school and someone allows you to merge onto the road before them. You walk into school and someone opens the door for you. You pass a teacher you had last year and the teacher waves to you. You enter your Spanish class with a smile. You’re even happy after Spanish class because your teacher is a good person who did not give you a bad grade, even though you recited a poem very horribly.

These two scenarios are from the exact same day, the only difference is the attitude you have during the day: a bad attitude or a positive attitude. I believe that attitude makes all the difference- in more than just a day. I think life is like embroidery, on one side there are ends of string and random lines that seem messy, but when you flip the embroidery over, there is a beautifully detailed work of art that is beautiful, intricate, and unique. I believe that sometimes you have to look at life from the other side in order to see the beautiful embroidery piece that is life.

My grandmother is living a very adventurous life having been a nurse, mother, grandmother, teacher, and volunteer. However, every place she has lived, from Germany, the Bahamas, Ukraine, and the United States, she has always had a piece of embroidery framed on her wall. I once asked her what it was, and she explained that every time she saw her grandmother, her grandmother would be working on some kind of embroidery piece. As a girl, she only came to see the back of the embroidery, and always wondered why her grandmother spent so much time in these little sewing circles that seemed only filled with discordant stitches and clumsy zig-zags of string. Then, when my grandmother went to college, her grandmother finally gave her a finished embroidery that had taken her months. It is small and not even very nice, because her grandmother was getting older when she made it, but the piece left an impression on my grandmother while she became a young adult. This is because my grandmother was finally able to see the beautiful side of her grandmother’s hard work. After this, my grandmother has not only always tried to see the beautiful side of life she is creating through hard work during the ugly moments, but has also been able to understand and appreciate both sides of the embroidery life that other people are creating and unable to see themselves. I know this has made her an inspiring person.

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