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This I Believe Essay by Kialani Ferguson

Kialani is a senior at McCutcheon High School. 

In the Fall of 2020, Kialani plans on attending Indiana University and majoring in psychology. She will obtain her master's degree in psychology with a minor in English. During her time at IU, Kialani hopes to travel abroad and become a volunteer teaching English as a foreign language. Her ultimate goal and purpose in life is to help others, which she will do by eventually becoming a school psychologist.

This is her essay entitled, "Learning to Surf".

Life is about riding the waves. Sometimes I will be up so high I can see the entire world just below. Other times, I will feel so low that I could have sworn the ocean floor was my home. After eighteen years on this Earth, I have just started to grasp how to surf these waves; how to be in the middle. For months, I made a home at the bottom of the ocean in the deep, dark depths underwater. Alone with my thoughts, existential crises plagued my mind. Seaweed and sadness were the only things I knew. But one day, after months of drowning, I had an epiphany. For the first time in a long time, I thought to myself, “I will be okay.” But the best part was- I actually believed it. 

In the blink of an eye, I felt myself start to float. Serotonin molecules acted as my life preserve, and carried me to the surface. “What changed?” I wondered. But the brain is a mysterious place, and sometimes it is best to accept your gifts and move on. My first good day in months I decided not to allow myself to think of the fleeting nature of happiness and the balance of chemicals in my brain. Instead, I took this day to take care of other aspects of my health. It is sometimes best to not question everything you feel, but to just let it happen. Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to be for a moment, to float. Let yourself be weightless, and remember that you’re only human. From time to time you have to go easy on yourself. This I believe.