I got an e-mail from somebody at the university inviting me to write an essay on the subject “This I Believe”. Don’t get excited for me, it wasn’t a personal invitation, but rather a mass e-mail to the university community, inviting us all to participate in this project. It’s a small part of a national project, where people write a short (350-500 word) essay about what they believe. It’s an opportunity for both publication and for recording.
I got excited about it. I had heard about this project month’s ago, through This American Life. The essays featured on that podcast were This I Used to Believe, which inherently have more purpose since the concept itself necessitates a conflict. If you’ve spoken to me in the last seven months, you know that I’m mildly obsessed with the show. The best $3 I’ve spent in the last year was on the archive app. But anyway, that episode was one that really stuck with me.
So I started thinking about topics for the essay. I was at work, so I jotted down concepts on post-it notes, and by the end of the day, I had four of them filled with terrible ideas. At the end of the day, I threw them in my purse and have since lost them. I was hoping for something quietly brilliant – something most people encounter during their lives and something I could also personalize. Basically, I wanted to write a good personal essay. Which is what I always want to do.
I’m still stumped though. What do I believe in? Right now, I believe in sitting at a cafe and drinking both coffee and chai. I also believe in listening to Goldfrapp on crappy headphones. I also believe it’s strange that at the table over, there are two guys having what looks like a business meeting on a Sunday morning. These are awful topics to write about, even to mention in a silly blog, so I’m trying to ask myself more specific questions: What are my
I believe that I’m responsible for my life and destiny. I’m a little bothered by the word destiny since it implies a sort of fatalism, and I’m not sure I believe in that either. I think that things happened and we’re all forced to play with the cards we’re dealt (and to use cliche metaphors, apparently). I believe in tolerance of other lifestyles and belief systems. I believe in maturation – I find great comfort in the fact that people are dynamic. We’re notcore beliefs? What gets me through the day?
Looking at that, they’re all related to the first statement. It’s too big of a concept to tackle in a 500-word essay. But I think that this little word barf session helped. I got a topic that I’m excited about, so I think I’ll start writing that this afternoon. doomed to be the same people we are right now. I believe in education and that you should never excuse your own ignorance (this is something I’m still learning). I believe in the power of words. I believe that reading a great piece of literature can change your life. I believe in the power of change – if you’re not happy with something in your life that you and you alone are responsible for the alteration.
My essay will be titled “I Believe my Chai is Now Cold and That There are now too Many Small Children in this Coffee Shop.”