This I Believe

KUHF-Houston Public Radio’s “This I Believe” with Allison Bravenec

Allison is a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin where she’s studying Business Honors and Pre-Med. In one of her composition classes, she was assigned to do an essay. It became her submission for Houston Public Radio’s “This I Believe” and reflects how she’s learned to value the important things in her life.


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Allison is a native Houstonian, but moved to Sugar Land with her parents and two sisters when she was a young girl. Allison is interested in working with children and medicine and she hopes that will lead her to medical school. While in Austin, she’s enjoying her older sister, who also attends UT. Allison’s younger sister is at home in Sugar Land and plays in her high school’s marching band.

Here’s Allison Bravenec with her essay for KUHF’s This I Believe.

“I believe that anything is possible. Anything! It’s just a matter of what you are willing to give up to get what you want.

When I was a junior in high school, I longed to be an officer on my dance team. I wanted it more than anything. Tryouts were a grueling yearlong process in which the candidates participated in various leadership building experiences, dance tryouts, and interviews. The entire school year I tried to be the perfect dancer and leader.

This yearlong process meant that I could not simply change my life-style for a week of tryouts, as would someone who was cramming for an upcoming test. I had to live it for an entire year; however, I also had to make sure that all of the other things that were important to me were not being neglected for just this one goal. For example, when my mom made cookies on a Sunday afternoon, I would bake with her. When my best friend threw a Halloween party, I spent time shopping for “Fantana” costumes with my friends. I woke up for church on Sunday mornings and set aside time each day to praise God. I really lived.

When the final day of tryouts came, I was a nervous wreck. This meant everything. The directors handed each candidate an envelope, and my fingers clamped down on my fate. However, I didn’t have to read the entire letter to know that I didn’t make it. The words, “it was a very difficult decision” shouted painfully at me from the rainbow stationary.

Was it because I didn’t give my best? No. I thought I wanted to be officer more than anything else, but that was not the whole picture. What I wanted more was life. I didn’t make officer because I couldn’t give everything up. I could have taken private lessons, but I wanted to bake with my mom. I could have spent time learning interview skills from a professional, but I preferred hanging out with my friends. I could have sucked up to my directors, been buddies with the judges, or spent my time doing every possible and countless thing to fulfill what I thought was the desire of my heart, but only if I had given up my life, given up the things I love the most.

When I am disappointed or down because I didn’t quite realize my goals, I know it is because I didn’t want it more than anything else. I’m not willing to give up everything for it, and that’s good. Whether it is family, friends, faith, or fun, I know that some things are not worth sacrificing. The desire of my heart is to have balance, to have fulfillment, to live and love. You can have anything you want; it’s just a matter of what you are willing to give up. This I believe.