I can change my destiny

Neal - Jacksonville, North Carolina
Entered on October 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that I can change my destiny. Given my family history, I am predisposed to anger issues, bi-polar tendencies, and self-pity. My mother is a narcissist and a defeatist. My father is bull headed, though he is warm and loving. My stepmother is opinionated, but only because she has been hurt so many times. Yet I believe that I can change my destiny.

I am married with two children, and I believe that neither my future nor theirs is pre-determined. Their future is a product, at least in part, of how bad I want to change.

My stepmother opened my eyes to personal freedom. She welcomed my questions and my thoughts, often standing with me for hours at night in the living room, chatting about my fears and dreams. She encouraged me to talk about my anger with my mother, and helped me to work through my issues with my mom. My dad always teased her about being a liberal, though in hindsight it was his misunderstood blanket conservatism that so sharply contrasted her relatively moderate views. This political banter contributed greatly to my appreciation for disagreement, and led me to better understand my own political beliefs.

My wife helped to truly free me. Because of her, I am comfortable trying new things, knowing that I will sometimes fail and that failure is acceptable. I am free to learn everyday and I tend to fail less. Calculated risk is still risk, but the benefits of taking that risk are tangible and rewarding.

Perhaps most significantly, I am free from guilt and the painful bonds of silent, seething judgment. Because I am free, I no longer feel the urge to compete with my family for love or affection or support-I simply live my life with my wife and kids and let our decisions and our actions stand for themselves.

I realize the importance of taking responsibility for my own actions, regardless of the consequences. If I do not, my children will fall prey to the vicious cycle of self-entitlement and indignation that plagues my beloved Generation Y. Only by accepting responsibility for my actions and misgivings can I affect the change in my life that my children deserve, providing them with a good example.

My job requires us to live 2000 miles away from our families. Perhaps it is easier to free yourself from the pressures of family stereotypes when you are not within easy driving distance. Or perhaps my sense of personal freedom is a result of the trials and tribulations I face in my marriage, the ones only a husband and wife can resolve. Regardless of reason, I am blessed with an opportunity to change who I am, what I stand for, and what I will become. I am grateful for that chance.

I believe that I have changed my destiny, and that fact gives me hope for my kids and their future.