This I Believe

Awilda - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 6, 2007

This I Believe…My Future

I come from a five-foot mother who spent her life working with her hands. The hands that wove the chairs that eventually got her out of that small town where she was born in and lived in for 27 years. A mother who knows nothing past an 8th grade education, but who is as smart as hell about life. Someone who risked everything by coming to America in search for a better life for herself and her family. I come from a mother who believes that success in life is measured by how much money one makes and nothing more. I on the other hand, believe that success is measured by how happy one becomes in life.

I come from a culture where hard work is something that is innate and being financially successful in life is the ultimate goal. Little things such as happiness come secondary to this goal. You see it is the only thing the poor think of when they think of success. Why is that? Well, because money means a way out, a way to live a better life than that of our predecessors, but more importantly a way to ensure the financial security of our elders.

Being hardworking is something that is in my genes; however my meaning of success is slightly different from my mother’s. While I do admire her for the woman that she is, for overcoming her hardships in life, my goal in life is not necessarily to do the things that will get me the most money, but rather to do the things that will ensure my happiness. Happiness to me does not mean getting the highest degree in life and becoming either a doctor or a lawyer as my mother sees. Happiness is getting the education I want, finding a career in doing something I love, and becoming successful by my own terms.

I have witnessed my mother work her way through life, missing out on her childhood, putting everyone before her, and doing what ever needed to be done in order to provide for her family. However, while my mother has accomplished so much she has never accomplished finding happiness.

At the end of the day while I am a senior in college with virtually no idea of where my future will take me or what I am going to do with my degree, I know that success is definitely within my reach. Just as my mother thinks I have to do what it takes to live a better financial life than she has, I believe I have to do what it takes to live a life full of the happiness that she could not find. This I believe…that while the future is uncertain, even for those who think they have it all figured out, that no matter what I decide to do, I will be okay.