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Several pebbles massage the soles of my feet as grains of sand nestle in between my toes. As the sun begins to settle into the ground, the ocean urgently laps at my toes, begging for the release of the glass soda bottle still clutched in my hands. The now unfurled slip of paper in the bottle allows the four words scribbled across it to become partially visible. While the orange haze that previously tinted the world fades to black, the bottle, released from my grasp, soars through the stars, waiting to be cradled by the waves and directed by the current.

As the bottle voyages farther into the unknown, I head back home, to wait to face my own unknown future. For months the bottle traverses the never ending waves and eloquently conquers every storm Mother Nature throws at it, all while keeping four words dry. The weeks pass by on land as tests, quizzes, homework and activities invade the hours in my day. As winter approaches, blocks of ice bombard the bottle, but the five syllables continue to remain unharmed. Looking out my window, I pause for a moment remembering the bottle, hoping and believing in its success, only to be interrupted by the seemingly endless papers to write and problems to solve. Waves begin to combine creating temporary skyscrapers as the bottle’s odds of surviving plummet, but still it carries on. Stress and the fear of failure invade my mind, but still I carry on. The shore finally becomes visible as the world begins to warm yet again. The long awaited sun greets the bottle as it finally connects with solid ground, nestling in the sand.

As seasons change once again, the bottle drifts back into my mind. Doubt begins to envelope me that my message has not been received, disheartening me. For sometimes the simple words of “I believe in you” are exactly what someone needs to hear. When those around me believed in me through every hard test, every tough cross country race, and any time the possible seemed impossible, it was enough to help me persevere and succeed. With all these thoughts racing through my head, I traveled to the exact beach where I threw my bottle out to sea a year before.

While strolling and reminiscing, a foreign object intercepted my path causing me to not only smell but taste the ocean too. Recovering, I planned to give whatever so kindly tripped me a piece of my mind until; the bottle I’d sent out a year ago entered my line of sight. Gingerly, I unscrewed the bottle and slowly unrolled the now yellowed paper. There the words “I believe in you” still remained in stark contrast to the paper. Stuffing the paper in my pocket, I now knew that even though I enjoy other’s belief in me, what really matters and makes me successful and dedicated is the belief I hold in myself.



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