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A Bump In My Road This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     When I started high school I had life inthe palm of my hand. I was a straight A student in the medical academy,a cheerleader, and involved in every club and activity possible. I hadso many plans and was working hard to fulfill my dreams while stillbeing a typical teenager.

Then I met Ryan* and my life startedslipping away without me even realizing it. I really thought I was inlove with him and gave him my entire heart. My family never liked Ryan,but my mother allowed us to be together because she knew how much Icared about him. Now that I think back, Ryan and I never really did anyfun couple stuff together. He chose drugs and other things over me, butI didn’t see that. I thought he was the best thing that had everhappened to me and I would be with him no matter what anyonethought.

Ryan and I had been together for a year when my lifecompletely shattered. I was going to graduate with honors and afull cheerleading scholarship to Northwestern State University, but thenI discovered I was pregnant. My family was absolutely crushed. My motherknew that Ryan would never amount to anything since he was a 19-year-oldhigh school drop-out without a job. She tried to explain all my options.After a very long talk with Ryan, we decided to keep the baby and getmarried after I graduated. I also decided to move in with Ryan and hisfamily. My mother was absolutely heart-broken. She felt like I waschoosing Ryan and his family over my own.

Many things happenedduring my pregnancy. My parents got divorced and my mother and I stoppedtalking. I quit cheerleading and forfeited my scholarship. There were somany times that I wondered what in the world I was doing with my life.Ryan never stopped doing drugs and staying out all night, even when Ithreatened to leave him.

When the baby was born, I missed threemonths of school, returning two weeks before finals. I ended up failingtwo classes and had to go to summer school. I also discovered who myreal friends were, and, to be honest, they weren’t who I thoughtthey were.

When my son was eight months old, I found out Ryan andhis parents were planning to take my baby from me. Ryan had become veryaddicted to drugs and started showing signs of abuse. One day I finallyrealized what kind of person he was. I decided to leave him and moveback with my mother.

Now I am a senior and still behind on mycredits. I have to work, go to school and take care of a baby. Isometimes wish my life were not so hard. There is no time to studyunless I stay up all night, but that only makes me extremely tired thenext day. All I want to do is graduate and make something of myself. Iwant to be able to look back on this and believe it was only a bump inmy road to success. I want to be able to look Ryan and his family in theface and say “I did it - and I did it without you.”

In many ways, this experience has changed my life for thebetter. I have matured very quickly and realized how much my motherreally loves me. My mother has been there for me and I don’t knowwhat I would do without her. She is my strength and encouragement everyday. I used to get so mad at her for not letting me do what I wanted,and my mother always told me that I would never understand until I hadkids of my own.

Now I look back on those days and apologize toher for the way I treated her because I do understand. I am justbeginning to understand some of the challenges she went through herself.I now know what it feels like to love your children so much that youfeel their pain. I never understood before, but now I know that there isonly one compliment I really want in my life: that I am as wise andcaring, as full of love and understanding, as my mother.

*Nothis real name

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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