The Hard Way

September 20, 2010
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Life can be simple, complex, or somewhere in between, but it always has a lesson to teach us. Some are passed down to us through our parents, such as the fact that the stove is hot. We are lucky enough to learn a few through close calls, “warning shots” that teach us through a mistake that could have been. But the worst kind is learned by which most commonly is referred to as “the hard way.” It is in these lessons that life has a funny little way of giving us a kick in the butt, when we aren’t paying attention. In my early childhood, life gave me a swift kick in the behind that I wouldn’t soon forget.
Boredom consumed me. I was six, and still a child and with my imagination running on full speed all day. So naturally, when I saw an empty laundry basket next to the stairs, I got a fantastic idea. Slide down the stairs, riding the laundry basket? Sounded like a great idea at the time. I ran downstairs in a hurry. Checking for my mom, she was half-asleep watching TV, not me - perfect. Sprinting back upstairs I was filled with excitement and giddiness that only a child could feel. I figured that I had just created my very own at home roller coaster. So I grabbed the plain white basket with holes in the side and headed for the stairs that seemed to be calling to me. I was sprinting, because I was eager to get going before my mom came to stop me. At the top of the stairs, I loaded myself into my vehicle, tested out the sides, and made sure it slid well across the tan, newly carpeted stairs. It was very sturdy and just the right size for the job.
Looking down the top of the steps was very intimidating. It seemed to be longer and steeper than it had before. And yet, with one full shove I was off. The wind began to hit my face, the stairs rumbled my makeshift cart, and somewhere in the distance I could hear the quiet hum of the TV show my mother was watching. Flying down the first few stairs was a just like I had imagined; it wasn’t until the middle of my adventure when the speed began to get out of control. Finally I fully thought through my endeavor. I thought of how the stairs suddenly stopped and how the wall was mere two feet from the bottom step. Filled with panic, I reached out to try and grab one of the wooden posts that held up the banister. I felt the tip of my finger hit the banister. For a second I was filled with false hope, thinking that I could catch myself. My finger slipped and a feeling of regret swept through me, but not for long.
Crashing to the floor and flying into the wall quickly put the disappointment and regret out of my mind. A lot like a freight train hits a cow, I crashed similarly into the blank white wall that had been looming in front of me the whole time. The basket - or cart - went flying and the loud thumping sound alerted my half-asleep mother. Still in a daze from the crash, I got up, only to see my mother rushing over to me to make sure that I was ok. She had a look of care only a mother could give and moved with the speed of a mother bear running to protect her cubs. After a few Blues Clues bandages and kisses to make me feel better, I promised that I would never ride the laundry basket down the stairs again. I had learned my lesson. That is, until I happened to find the bean bag chair in the basement…

That was one of my first lessons learned through “the hard way.” Recently, I came into a close call lesson that changed the way that I thought about college and my entire future. Freshman and sophomore years, I had the mindset that college was easy to get into and that colleges didn’t look at early high-school grades. But after my sophomore year when my brother got rejected from many colleges from his early grades, something clicked in my head- it all matters. With this in mind I completely changed my attitude. I started to buckle down, get good grades, and participate in school and volunteer activities. Life has a funny way of giving you lessons, and sometimes it sends a warning shot for you through someone you love.





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Hynese said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 10:26 am
Fantastic college essay who knew that it would all start with a landry bin(go-cart) =-)
 
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