Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Section 9, First Installment: Personal This I Believe
When I was a young teenager, my dad and I were in a bad living situation. Luckily, my dad’s close friend, Kathy, was kind enough to welcome us into her home.
Kathy was a strong, independent woman in her early sixties. I’ve knew her vaguely during my childhood, but before adolescence, I never took the time to get to know her. I was a generally reserved person that wasn't used to making conversation with people on a deep and personal level. Due to this fact, I tended to judge people solely from what I saw. Every time my dad took me with him to visit Kathy when I was younger, I imagined her as an intimidating, elderly woman, since she spent much of her time hunting. After taking the time to get to know Kathy, she became one of the biggest role models in my life.
Kathy is the type of person that said whatever was on her mind, whether it was a compliment or criticism. To a typical individual, that personal quality may seem a little brash at times. I admired her honesty because I felt that if she could be honest with me, then I could be honest with her by simply being myself. Over time, Kathy and I grew very close. She taught me so much in the time that my dad and I lived with her. During those two years, Kathy taught me how to step out of my comfort zone by not being afraid to try new things.
Before living with Kathy, I never would have thought about the idea of hunting or had the opportunity to experience it. She taught me how to shoot a gun, where to shoot a deer for a clean shot, and she also went with me to take a hunter’s safety course for me to get my hunting license. I would have never thought I would have liked to hunt, since I never was involved in that activity growing up. I came to enjoy the calmness of sitting in the woods and the art of perfecting my aim.
Kathy is a very strong-willed and persistent woman. I was never the type to let people into my life where they could get the chance to know what I was about. Kathy saw straight through the type of person I was, and, in a short period, she was able tear down the wall I naturally put up in front of people. After being able to connect with her, we spent a lot of time together doing things such as going hunting, playing card games, going out to eat, or simply watching TV together. The little things we did helped us form a strong relationship that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Before living with Kathy, I made quick judgments about people only from an observational standpoint due to having an introverted personality. I believe that for me to live a substantial life, I need to continue to step out of my comfort zone and tear down the wall I put up in front of people. By doing this, I can form strong relationships with diverse groups in individuals to help improve my introverted qualities which, in turn, will lead me to live a happier life.
Today, as a college student, I have learned to live on my own with a numerous amount of responsibilities that involve school, work, volunteer experiences, and figuring out what I want to do with my life once I graduate. A few ways that I have been incorporating the teachings Kathy has bestowed upon me, is by developing various interpersonal skills from working as a server as well as stepping out of my comfort zone as a current hospice volunteer and Team Development Lead for an upcoming Relay for Life event. Although I still have a lot to work on, I believe Kathy has been one of the many important influences in my life that has shaped me into what I am today and what I could possibly become tomorrow. This I believe.