I'm currently being interviewed in a reporting class about the time I was awarded the Bishop's Cross.
It's been an interesting revisit of something I don't always think about. The Bishop's Cross is an award given in the Toledo Diocese to two Catholic students (one boy, one girl) from each high school in the diocese upon graduation every year. It's based upon (perceived) moral character, involvement in the parish and community, and high religion GPA.
All I know beyond that is that there is a committee that nominates and votes on the winners. There is no application to fill out, and no way to find out who nominated me. Someone thought I would be a good candidate and the committee that gives out the award voted in agreement. I, who only did the things he did to feel that he wasn't completely wasting his life. I, who fought for every little bit of motivation to go to church every week. I, who never had a regular prayer life. I, who was secretly precarious in belief at best and an unconscious atheist at worst many times in high school. I, who was not of the moral fiber that anyone believed I was.
I was elated to receive the Bishop's Cross, but at the same time I felt they had made a mistake. People at graduation thought they saw a smile on my face when they called my name, but it was actually a look of surprise. It was surprise, because I knew what I looked like on the inside. I felt they awarded it based on my public face, which was a lie. I didn't deserve it.
Yet, someone believed in me. Someone saw in me something I could not. My potential...who I was born to be. I am reminded constantly of how far I have to go, but it remains true that I have come far already. In the some of the most worthless times of my life, someone thought I deserved an award that I think I have only come to deserve nearly four years later.
Over the past four years of college, I've been haunted by that award. I was only getting worse at times, and it was only when I hit rock bottom that I got better. I never felt at ease when I remembered getting that award, until now. Now, the emotion is not guilt but a sense of overwhelming gratitude.
Gratitude to that one person who believed in me when I did not believe in myself.
There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that everyone could believe in their own goodness.