"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Dear Reader,

My name is Morgan.I'm going to start off with telling you a little bit about me and where I'm coming from with my personal philosophy statement. I have a very strong personality. Not only do I think that, but many of my friends agree with me. I tend to look at things in a pessimistic sort of way, but somehow this gets me pretty far in life. My one and only sport is swimming. I've done other sports such as volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, and ballet but definitely not as long as I have been swimming. I gave up those sports a long time ago. But, I've been swimming forever and I tend to think that this has helped me develop a lot of self discipline. I also think that this has made me a pretty competitve person. My philosophy statement really gets to me because when I'm in a situation that I think is difficult I always tell myself that I can get through this. This relates to my life in a lot of ways. First off, I'm a type 1 diabetic. I've had this since I was two years old. I've had struggles dealing with this in the past and still do, but not nearly as bad because I know that I can get through it. I feel that I have a lot of self confidence and I usually don't care what others think of me. I do to an extent, but not nearly as much as most teenagers nowadays.

For my personal philosophy statement, I have chosen a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt about gaining confidence and strength through trials in your life. I'm sure a lot of you are experts on trials and have many of your own problems that you deal with daily. I myself have them and deal with them daily. I deal with so many little trials, but also many big trials. Everybody can relate to hard times in their lives whether small or large. If you can't relate, well, I envy you! Hopefully, in this letter, you will see why this philosophy statement fits me so well.

My trials started when I was two years old. Well, at least the ones I remember. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes right then and there in that hospital. I was very sick at that point in time and it took me a little while to recover. I don't remember a lot of things from my early childhood, but I remember in elementary school I was jealous of the other kids. At lunch with all of my friends I couldn't eat and share their candy and I also couldn't trade lunches with people. I had to stick with my lunch and my lunch only. This gave me a feeling of sadness inside. I knew my life would be different from then on. Now, I'm totally fine with not eating candy every second of my life. I have much bigger things to worry about now and candy is the least of my worries. I've learned to deal with this in my life and I've accepted that not everything is going to be the same in my life as other kids' lives. I would have to live with this and accept that my life would be different. But, it took me a while to figure that out, and it took many sleepless nights for me to be okay with it. I needed to deal with that trial in my life and gain strength from it. As I have gotten older, my issues with my diabetes have gotten bigger, but I also have more knowledge and experience with knowing how to deal with those things. But, now, everything is pretty good, and I'm keeping my sugars under control. It is still really difficult, and not something I want, but I'm learning different things that can help me out during life. I now have an insulin pump and it is my lifeline. I don't go anywhere without it. It is definitely a help and I'm learning how to deal with it and I still have much more to learn, but I'm getting there.

I can also relate this to swimming, like I can with everything else in my life. I swim insane hours. I really don't know how I do it. But, then again, it does definitely pay off. Many of my fellow swimmers also swim insane hours and it's because we love swimming. I have had a genuine love for swimming ever since I was four years old. But, there are a few drawbacks with swimming. I can't tell you how many times I have had to tell my friends, "Sorry, I can't hang out today, I have swim practice." My friends have come to understand that swimming is a huge commitment and I can't just let it go. I have also had many trials with swimming, though. Just this last year, in fact, I had to take half the summer off because I was tired of swimming. Swimming is a sport that requires a lot of dedication and perseverance. Those are two skills I have learned to acquire from all my years of swimming. I was thinking of quitting for awhile, but I pushed through it and now I'm very glad that I didn't quit. Swimming has been a part of my life for so long I can't imagine it not being a part of my life anymore. I plan to swim through high school, but we will see about college. Every once in awhile I feel that thrill of success and that makes all my sacrifices worth it.

I also have trials that have to do with school, just like everyone does. I have had all nighters to finish homework, and I have been stressed out with tests, projects, etc. This should sound familiar to most of you, if not all of you. I've had weeks where my planner is written all over: in the margins, all the lines filled up, and no space left over whatsoever. But I have also had weeks with very little homework. Everybody deals with trials with school, maybe even friends, and homework in general. You all know what it is like to be swamped, so I won't go into all of this necessarily. But, this is another aspect of my life that I have been through trials.

As you can see, those are three major trials that I have been through in my life. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to all three. But, this is why I like my philosophy statement so much. I firmly believe that when you stop and look at what you are avoiding, and you conquer that by taking it head on, you gain confidence and strength. Sure, some people are more successful at that then others, but we are all capable of accomplishing things like this in our lives. My trials have shown me that I am capable of more things than I realized. They have turned me into the person I am today because I faced them head on. Now, I deal with it like it is and move on from there. I found out that life is easier that way! "...You must do the thing you think you cannot do" sounds strangely inviting and mysterious to me; does it to you?