This I Believe: Everything happens for a reason.

Going through a custody battle at the age of 8 is not something most people have to do. Making life changing decisions; also not on their list of things to accomplish by age 9. I was different, though. After my mother passed away, I had to pick if I wanted to live with my step dad or my uncle in Iowa. However, as I decided whom I wanted to live with, I thought of it only as a child. I based my decision on selfish reasons, such as not wanting to pack, or because I didn’t want to leave my friends. I decided to stay with my step dad, here, in Virginia. I never knew that this decision would shape the rest of my life.

Because I stayed here, my whole life has developed into what I can only assume would be a completely different dimension. I can only imagine now, almost exactly 10 years later, how my life would have been, had I only chose to live in Iowa. I could have made completely different friends, established different morals and hopes, and dreamed different dreams. I wouldn’t even be me. No. That’s not even true. I cannot even safely assume that. I would simply be a different me in every manner. I mean, I would still be Rachael, but I would most likely think and feel different about most things than I do now. It’s really quite chilling to think about it now, as I look back. If I had only thought that going to Iowa would have been an adventure, as it is likely that many children could have decided this in my situation, I could be someone else entirely.

If I had not stayed here, I could not say that I would even have the same ambitions. I may have never been exposed to theatre. I may have never hoped to be a star. I may have just hoped to graduate high school. The point is, you can never truly know how your life could have been. You can’t waste time on the What ifs, or the could haves. All you can do is live the life you have, and enjoy it while it’s still here. If you worry about the small things, you can’t fully appreciate or even see the big picture. You may even end up in a different picture entirely.

Thinking back on this small decision has caused me many an intense thoughts. Still, it is intriguing to consider how such small decisions can affect your life in such a way. I may not know why my life turned out this way, and I may not know how. But this I do know; This, I believe. Everything, whether it is good or bad, happens for a specific reason. Every event in ones life leads up to the next and brings each person to where they are today.