This I Believe: FROM A CLAY LUMP TO A STATUE

This past semester in English 11, Mrs. Dani DeJong shared a collection of essays from National Public Radio’s program, “This I Believe.” She then challenged her students to write their own personal credo about a core principle that defines their life. The array of topics, concerns, and passions were as diverse as the students themselves.

The ACS Inside Out blog is excited to present their essays in our 2017 summer blog series, “This I Believe: Eight Personal Credos by Eight ACS Students.”

PART THREE: From a Clay Lump to A Statue

by Hailey Flikkema

I was born a lump of clay and throughout my life, people have molded me into the statue I am today.

I was boring, flawed, and lacking form.

I had not yet developed who I was going to be or the morals that drive me.

Each individual that stepped foot into my life, whether for a moment or the entirety, have each added to the end result; the statue that I have become.

When I really contemplated which “artists” have molded me the most, I narrowed it down to three individuals: My mother, my grandmother, and the old lady across the street.

Playful personality

To the untrained eyes of strangers, my mom is a serious person. She is seldom care-free in the eyes of the public.

Personally, I see my mom in a different light; she loves to play. Whether it be dancing like a crazy person in the kitchen while listening to One Direction or spinning on one of those spinning seats in a children’s playground until she falls off, my mom is secretly a free-spirited individual. During every moment of craziness, she emphasized the importance of having people you can be silly with.

My mom molded my character.

Future Surgeon?

I have always been very curious. It should have been no surprise to my grandmother that when I had accidentally killed a frog, I performed “surgery” on it to see what was inside. I found its heart and its brain and was fantastically satisfied with myself by the end. My satisfaction came to an abrupt halt when my granny found out, and to say the least, she was livid.

In her opinion, God made everything, including that tiny little frog who I had now destroyed.

I was so upset with myself that I hid in the bathroom and cried for a while. It was then that I decided to never harm a life again.

My grandmother molded my heart.

Listening to the Lonely

The old lady who resided across the street taught me that every single person on this planet deserves to be listened to. She was quite old when I met her and I was constantly at her house bringing her baked goods or helping her out.

What amazed me about this woman was the fact that she had a story for everything.

It wasn’t until her family moved her to an old age home that I realized the reason she told me so many stories is that she was incredibly lonely. She just wanted to be heard.

The old lady across from my granny’s house molded my ears.

Many have worked on me over my short 17 years of life, and I know there will be many more to come. I’m eternally grateful for those who saw me, a lump, and thought that with some time and effort, I could be amazing.

It isn’t me who decides what kind of statue I will become; it is my artists.

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