This I Believe

Ashley - Chesapeake, Virginia
Entered on April 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Whatever Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Unfortunately life isn’t always good. Sometimes it makes us stronger and at times life puts us at our worse.

When I was 18, I was forced to move out of my house and I was out on my own. I was not ready to grow up and support myself, but I had no choice. My parents and I had a terrible relationship and we did what we could to try to fix it, but nothing ever seemed to work. I didn’t talk to my parents and younger sister for almost five years.

When I moved out I got an apartment with one of my best friends. Things were working out until she got serious with her boyfriend and decided to move in with him and leave me with all the bills. I had to quit school and work two jobs to make ends meet. Eventually I found another roommate. I finally thought things were looking up for me until the third month when she decided she couldn’t afford to pay the bills and she moved out. At this point I didn’t know what I was going to do. I couldn’t trust anyone else to move in with me and I certainly couldn’t afford to pay the bills on my own. I finally decided to move in with my grandmother, which is something I should of done from the beginning. I was able to quit one of my jobs and go back to school. Again things were looking up. I enrolled back into school in January and had just felt like things were finally getting better for me. Three months later in May my uncle passed away. At the funeral was the first time I talked to my parents in years. There wasn’t much said, just a “hi”. That was one of the most emotionally “hello’s”. I have ever had to say. Nothing much came of that until two weeks later my grandfather passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack. So here I was at another family funeral where the only thing said to my parents was a “hello”. At this point the only family I had left was my grandmother who I loved and who loved me more than anything. She was the only support system I had and I relied in her for everything. A few weeks later she became very ill. I did everything I could her for while she was sick. I cooked her dinner, ran all of her errands, and anything else she needed. A week later she died. I was completely devastated. I felt scared an alone. I didn’t know what I was gong to do.

Here I was 21 and had lost everyone I loved, except my parents who were no longer involved in my life. I was so depressed I didn’t know how I was going to support myself day to day. I finally decided that I was gong to call my parents and ask them to talk. They agreed. The feeling I felt when I got to there house was the very emotional. I was scared, nervous and in a way excited. Waling back into the house where I grew up was hard. We knew it was going to take a lot of work, but we talked and decided that we were going to work on things. We all knew it was gong to take time, but that was ok with me.

Here it is three years later and even though we are still working on things we do have a relationship. Ironically, I just moved back home with them so that I could finish school. They are very supportive with school and help me financially with certain things.

These past couple of years has taught me that I am a very strong person. As long as you stay true to yourself and continue fighting for your goals, they will come true. Life is what we make of it and even though we all do not like to have bad things happen to us, they do.

It was important for me not to give up on my goal to be a teacher and I plan on graduating in December and teaching next school year.