This I Believe

Ryan - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

This I Believe Essay

Family is the most important thing in my life. If they had not instilled all of the moral values I have then there is no telling where I would have ended up. It has not only been my parents who have shaped who I am today but my whole family.

A story that really comes to mind is the story of my parents and my stepfather. When I was two years old my parents got divorced. That really didn’t impact me like it would have had I been older. I still spent time with both parents but I really started staying and became a member of my godparent’s family. Being with my godparents from such a young age and having them as a huge part of my life has really shaped who I am. I have a lot of their values that I will take with me to my own family. They helped me through my mom and stepfathers very rocky relationship. Their relationship had a lot of up and downs. I was the only child for ten years so I was in the middle of a lot of their fighting. Seeing them in that kind of situation really helped me see that I do not want that for my family or myself. I guess I owe that to my godparents and seeing how you can have a marriage and family without all the abuse.

My mom and stepfathers divorce was a milestone in my life. It was one of the best things that my mom could have done. She got herself and my sister and me out of a really bad life. That really impacted my life and who I am today. When I was in middle school I started acting out and trying my mom. She was a single parent working full time. I was seeing what I could get away with; yes, you might think this is just normal teenage behavior. Some of it may have been just normal teenage behavior but I was getting into the age of boys and older boys at that. My mom didn’t think that was appropriate so she made the decision to move us back to our hometown where she had help raising my sister and me. My mom had the philosophy that you need a village to help raise a child, and at that time in her life she really did need the help of her family. My godparents stepped in a helped get my mom back on her feet and helped with out with me. I started my eighth grade year at a new school. I thought it was the end of the world. I had to live with my godparents for four months until my mom could get out of her apartment lease in another town. When I started school it was nothing like I thought. There were no cliques and everybody was so nice. I really had a good year that year. Moving to a new town and new school was the best thing for me. I had the sense of “starting over” and it was great. It gave my mom and me a brand new start with each other also.

These two stories are just the tip of what I believe in and what has gotten me there. I just believe that you can start over at any point and have the best life ever. You just cannot do it by yourself. You need a support system and you need your family. I owe everything I have to my family, my entire family.