This I Believe- Taking the Best Lessons from the Worst Events

My belief- We learn the best lessons from the worst things we go through in life.


    I’ve never been one to think about myself, about what I feel, or openly talk about whatever is constantly floating around within my brain. I’ve never examined my beliefs and I’ve definitely never talked about it with others. Being prompted to inspect something I hold true and dear to my heart was terrifying and difficult especially since I have to talk about those moments in life that proved my theory right, even though I wish that I couldn’t remember most of them.


   When I was younger, around seven, I experienced death and its true finality for the first time. My grandfather, a man I loved dearly, had died at the age of seventy. Seventy seemed too young, too soon, yet my dad had found him dead in my grandmother’s kitchen. He was the first to tell us. I have to admit it took me a seemingly endless amount of nights to understand that I would never see him again. I cried constantly; my eyes were always swollen and red. Just as I was truly starting to recover, yet again the cruel hand of time struck and took my second grandfather with it. When I was eight, around a year after my first experience with loss, someone else I looked up to suddenly wasn’t there. I always wanted to spend more time with him and I lost my chance because I was young and stupid, and I wanted to protect everyone around me. But never myself, and never my feelings.


  I definitely wouldn’t say I developed into a stronger person at that point, I was a crying mess and probably pretty ugly to look at too. The lessons I learned while living through that have always stuck with me, and I doubt that I will ever forget them.


  I’ve never learned as many strong messages as I did while struggling to accept something I had to push through. With losing five people in nine years along with multiple pets-death has been around me too often, and I really wish it would screw off. However, I know that wish is too far fetched to ever happen. It’s not accurate to say I’m thankful for those times, however it is realistic to say I’m thankful for what I was taught during them.


   I learned how to be a person; how to interact with others. That likely sounds weird, but it’s true. I realized that I had to be considerate of other people’s feelings, especially since I knew my parents, and my grandmother who is still alive, lost people who they were much closer to than I was. People show their emotions in different ways and I think I understood that the most through my dad, since he never really showed any grief. I knew he was in pain though, but I was aware that I shouldn’t push him to share as that is how he deals with things. One of the most important things that I feel I’ve gotten from multiple unpleasant experiences I’ve had, is the idea that we need to appreciate, love, and cherish those who matter to us since they could technically die at any time. I let a fight that I wasn’t even involved in cloud my judgement and separate me more from my mom’s father, and I regret that immensely. He was great to me, often he’d share stories from World War II and talk about his experience within it. I didn’t learn until much later that he didn’t even do that with his own kids.


   Forgiveness is ingrained into my brain now, after all those mistakes I’ve made. Friends have come and gone because of petty disagreements, and the rift between my extended family and my close family is immense. These issues are past the point of reconciliation, and I know that. I understand why. There’s too much distance, and too many losses between us. I now know that not just me, but everyone has to let go and forgive each other sometimes. Otherwise, we can truly lose those that have mattered to us the most, yet we usually don’t clue into that until a much older age. 


   I feel like I’ve made the amount of mistakes an eighty year old has in their whole life, yet I’m only sixteen. I wish I knew why I’ve taken the most valuable things I know from horrible experiences; but I don’t and I don’t think I ever will. Whether it be me tripping and rolling down a hill in front of the whole class, or me feeling like the world’s issues are on my shoulders only, lessons have been learned that I really wish I could have understood in a different way. I know now though that because of these unfortunate situations, I will forever hold these lessons close to my heart. The best lessons are taught through the worst things in life, and I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am without going through the fiery pit of hell they put me through.



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8 thoughts on “This I Believe- Taking the Best Lessons from the Worst Events

  1. Dear Katie,
    I applaud you; You brought forth the emotions and frustrations you have held in private for such a long time, and that takes a lot of courage. You managed to write about the experiences you faced, as depressing as they are, in a painfully personal way that I simply had to emphasize with, even though I’ve never been to a funeral. Your story is heart-breaking — but you were able to take the broken pieces of your life, your grief, your regret, and make something beautiful out of it. Your ending was very powerful: “ The best lessons are taught through the worst things in life, and I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am without going through the fiery pit of hell they put me through.” That sentence is lovingly crafted and sounds like the final crescendo at the end of a score, the music intentional and contrasting greatly with the prior uncertainty you wrote your first words in.

    As for improvements — I suggest you spend a little more time proofreading and editing out grammar and the occasional sentence inconsistencies, for better flow and greater professionalism. (We could be each other’s beta readers!)

    I’m happy I know you as more than just a writer, because I was able to hear your strong voice in your writing. I hope you continue to learn from the past, and have a satisfying future as a result!

    K8 (。◕‿◕。)

    1. Dear Kate,

      I wanted to thank you for reading my work in depth, and spending your time to do so. I sincerely appreciate your comment. I’ll be honest here, I suck at proof reading- so I would love if you could look at my writing occasionally, and correct my multitude of mistakes. Of course I will return the favor as well-plus it means I get to read more of your wonderful writing.

      I hate the idea that people know what I’ve gone through- what I’ve experienced, so this has been an extremely stressful time for me. However, your comment reassured my confidence, and I’m extremely happy I was able to share my work, and experiences with you. My courage definitely swayed multiple times during this process, but to know someone appreciated it makes me feel like my temporary suffering was worth it.

      You’re an incredibly talented person, and I loved the music reference- thank you for being an amazing human!


  2. Dear Katie,

    I am thankful for the opportunity to read your blog. I felt that from this, I was able to understand you better as an individual. You were able to express the emotions of shy and reserved individual, while still expressing loud and powerful thoughts and beliefs from your heart. To express these feelings take a great amount of courage, and I am proud of you for taking this risk.

    I am sorry for your previous losses. You were able to express the frustration, guilt, and regret that you felt as a child, and it intrigued me; As I myself have experienced death, but was not close enough to truly understand the experience.

    The belief you mentioned in the first sentence was a little vague (elaborate on “worst things”, and you have the tendency to bring up sophisticated and unique ideas… yet you do not elaborate. I believe that if you go more in depth into these ideas that you will be able to make a more thoughtful and meaningful piece that can truly touch the hearts of the readers.

    Overall well done, this was our first official assignment, and I am excited to see your writing in the future!


    1. Dear Debbie,

      Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read my “This I believe.” It truly does mean a lot to me. I definitely agree with you on the idea that I don’t elaborate enough in areas of my work. This was an extremely difficult assignment for me to write considering the past events I had to revisit. However, more detail on my part would have strengthened my piece.

      I appreciate you recognizing how difficult this process was. I often try to hide these events from others, so knowing that someone enjoyed my writing and could see how honest I was being means a lot to me.

      You’re an incredible human with so much power and wisdom to share with this world, and I’m thankful that you shared some of that wisdom with me.


  3. Katie, you absolute delight,

    I promised I would be on your blog after spending the day with you for FTLOR, and now I am making good on that promise. After getting to know you and talking about our shared Hunger Games hyperfixation, I knew that I couldn’t miss out on your writing, and I was absolutely right! This piece was excellently framed, with the central idea and belief well integrated and maintained as the central focus for the majority of the piece. While you did have tangents (because don’t we all), you never truly lost your thesis, which is the hallmark of an excellent blog post (and an excellent critical essay for when you have to tackle those later). I loved how you used your central lesson of learning from hardship to discuss the many sub-lessons that you learned through this belief; it really added depth and helped me understand the truth of your belief. In terms of rhetoric and writing, your piece had my absolute favourite trait in any blog post – a solid writer’s voice. Though I don’t know you well yet, I could hear your piece in your voice, and that is something that some writers struggle with for years. Also, your diction choices were also superb, if I may say so.

    For future growth, I would recommend a bit more attention to the overall flow of your piece. You had a few run-on sentences and some sentences that didn’t quite flow with the paragraphs they existed in, which made the piece move a bit less smoothly. Having that strong sense of flow is a difficult feat, but if you can achieve it, your posts become all the more stronger. In addition, don’t self depreciate so much! Beyond my own aggressive mom friend feelings, self-depreciating puts a barrier between you and the reader. If you are protecting yourself through put-downs, it is harder for the reader to connect to you as a writer. You are an intelligent, beautiful, capable human being, and should address yourself as such.

    As a final note, I wanted to commend you for your openness in this first post. It took me years and years to feel comfortable putting my personal stories into writing; in fact, the bulk of my work on this very blog has a degree of separation from my personal life. However, putting your true, raw, self into writing can give your piece the emotional depth that my objective analyses can only dream of.

    Thank you for speaking from the heart.

    Maria 🙂

    1. Dear Maria,

      You precious human being. I am so thankful we were put together for FTLOR! You’re an inspiration to all those around you, and I hope that one day I can be as confident, kind, and helpful as you are. I am blushing from your compliments; I don’t deserve them. I sincerely thank you for making good on your promise, and taking time to read my post. I know that you’re lacking time to do anything; you grade twelve genius, so I really do appreciate the time you spend trying to help me improve. I have to admit that this post took me an incredibly long time to do. Quite a few of the first drafts sounded nothing like me, so I’m extremely glad that you were able to pick up my voice. I really appreciate that you liked my choice of words as well; it took me an endless amount of time to figure out what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it.

      In all honesty, I have severe issues with creating a piece that flows easily. There’s always sentences that offset everything I worked hard to achieve, so I definitely know what you’re saying. Trust me, I do not take what you say lightly. I will continue to push myself to make my work more smooth, as I know it will help me in the long run. Mom, you’re right. I do self deprecate as a way to protect myself; it’s also something that has just wormed its way into my everyday humor. I’m glad you pointed that out though. In the future I will try to be kind to myself. I want to connect to my readers as much as possible, and I hope you can see that improvement in the future!

      You truly are too kind. This post still makes me uncomfortable. I keep coming back to it and wishing I could delete it. I feel that I’m sharing too much of myself; however, due to your comments I feel much better about it. I hope you know that the work you have done on the AP Hunni blog has inspired me to put more of myself into my work. I’m going to be very depressed when you graduate, because I will miss you severely. However, I hope you know that I am proud of you. You are going to do wonders for the world, and I hope that one day we get to work together.

      Keep being you, and don’t ever let anyone stop you from doing what you love. Thanks for being my mom friend! 🙂


  4. Dear Katie,
    Please do not take anything I say as an insult because it is not intended that way. As a concise writer surrounded by people whose essays are never less than 8 pages or so (that was hyperbole), I found it refreshing to read a short piece that got its point across very well. You were able to stick to your theme throughout the entire piece. Even though it was short, it was complete.
    For improvement, I would suggest a little more attention to diction. Your use of the word technically, while accurate, did not seem (I have a story about how much I like the word seem) as if it should be placed in this passage.
    This topic really relates to something I have heard where people ask, “if you had a time machine would you go back and change things” and, without going into theories about time, I have thought while there are some things i did not like, I learned something and this piece really focused on that point. You are doing great and can always improve.
    Sincerely, IB.

    1. Dear IB,

      Thank you for your time and the compliments you gave me. Don’t worry, nothing you commented offended me at all. I’m just thankful that you took time out of your day to read something a stranger wrote. I’m happy that you saw this piece as complete – for some reason it still seems as though something is missing from it. But I guess that is just my overly picky mind.

      I definitely agree with the improvements you mentioned as well. I am now surrounded with multiple great writers with diction that intimidates me. Now that I’ve read over this once again I see what you mean. A different word would likely would have fit better. Thank you for pointing that out.

      I am genuinely happy that you found something in this piece to enjoy, and as I said your compliments and suggestions have helped me to learn and improve.


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