“You are now in Bedford Falls”
At the age of 13, I wanted to take my own life. My small world was crashing around me. I was doing horrible in school; my parents had transferred me out of public school back into a catholic school, a very small private school, with uniforms and the not so cool kids. My boyfriend had broken up with me to go out with someone who called herself my friend. I was told often that I was ugly and fat. No one understood me. I believed no one loved me.
I thought many times how I could take my life. I would write, “I want to die, everyone hates me” on my school books. One day my parents discovered it but I assured them that I was fine. I really wasn’t, I was lost and lonely. I got the all the Fs on my report card up to D minuses to get out of 8th grade. I chose to go to a small all girls’ catholic school that was a ten minute bus ride or about a 30 minute walk from home. Things got slightly better once I got to high school, my grades improved and I started to make some new friends. But I was still sad, still thinking about taking my life.
In the first semester of my freshman year, my English teacher thought she would torture us by making us watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” right before Christmas vacation. At that time, there was no real respect for the movie; it was on TV every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, surprisingly I had never seen it. Each day, as I went to English class I fell in love with George Bailey but most importantly, I discovered the impact of one person’s life on so many. I began to see the value of life, even my life.
For the last 20 years I’ve kept a little ceramic sign (in the photo above) where I could see every day that says, “You are now in Bedford Falls”. It serves as a reminder that I may not be exactly where I want to be but I’m exactly where I need to be. Our lives intersect with some many others, we matter to more people than we realize.