Inspiration | Teen Ink


December 20, 2007
By Anonymous

“I have a dream.” One of the most inspirational speeches ever presented. It not only enabled us to evolve as a society but to grow and mature individually. Some of us would go so far as to say that this speech is equal to that of which made us who we are today. As we all unfold and develop we learn to reminisce on not only the mistakes we’ve made but to look at the success we have accomplished. We all have that one prominent moment that we feel significantly altered our future, that one moment that allowed us to distinguish a sense of individuality and understand our character as a whole. My experience, although less of a moment and more of a tragedy, led me to become what many would consider admirable.

Growing up, I was the cliché “daddy’s girl.” I was spoiled with gifts and surrounded by happiness and love. But that lifestyle was no longer mine for the taking. On Mother’s Day of 2004, my house had been destroyed by flames and taken over by clouds of smoke. Everything I owned was now destroyed and ruined. From my favorite skirt to my award winning uniforms, my prized possessions were nothing more but piles of ash. Not only did I lose such materialistic belongings, I lost my hero, my motivation, my dad. And although my mom made it out okay, with little harm, losing one of such meaning left me to be nothing more than a helpless mess.
It was late into my eighth grade year, when this had all taken place. I allowed this tragedy to take control of every aspect of my life. By the time I had returned to school, after missing many weeks, the year was already over. Summer was spent replacing my life. I had to start brand new and buy everything, from my toothbrush and toothpaste down to my shoes and socks. When 9th grade rolled around, I had changed, but it was only for the worst. I lost will power and lacked effort. I felt as if there was no reason to continue with such ambition when my dad was no longer there to smile at my every moment. I had made it through ninth grade but my grades never met my full potential. During the completion of tenth grade, my attitude towards life remained the same. I held back my abilities and talents only to go against everybody else, as though it was their own fault.
When I reached my junior year of high school, I was able to confront myself. I was able to look back and realize that rather than “going against the grain” as many would say; I should have used this tragedy to provide me with motivation. Motivation that would allow me to put forth my expertise day after day and achieve goals I had set my whole life. So I set aside my prior experiences and filled my self with aspiration. As the year went by I maintained a grade point average of 4.0 quarter after quarter. I watched as not only my teachers, but my friends, were impressed with my academic achievements. It was my mom though, that gave me a sense of acknowledgement. The look on her face could tell me with out words that she grew more and more proud of me every day. Moments like these let me know I was on the right path.

It’s now my senior year and as I look back at myself, and at who I have become, I look at how I’ve grown into one with more maturity and independence. I apply myself now in ways that I never knew I could. I can say now with much self confidence that I will be able to overcome any given obstacle with not only courage and determination but with pride and dignity.

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