This I Believe Builds Character

joscelyne - USA
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

“This I Believe Builds Character”

At an early age the idea that hard work and being self-sufficient was an essential

quality to have was imprinted in my impressionable young mind. I grew up watching my

mother struggle to raise my three siblings and me on her own. She worked endless

hours, held down three jobs to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes

on our backs. She instilled a good set of values in us, and with them came the be-

lief that you can only depend on yourself. Her legacy of strength I carry on within me.

Not being privileged and growing up without has reinforced the importance of being

independent and self-sufficient which has made me a stronger person. I believe that

having to work hard for everything positive in my life has helped build my character.

In the last two months of my nursing preceptorship, I was in a major car

accident. My car was rear-ended at forty to fifty miles an hour, on highway

101 in commuter’s traffic. The insurance company totaled out my car, stating that the

cost of repairs were more than the value of the car. My only physical injury was to my

back and neck muscles, which were strained from the forceful impact. I was devastated

knowing I would be without transportation for quite sometime, and not knowing how I

was going to get to and from school. Ofcourse, my insurance paid for a temporary

loaner vehicle, but only for two weeks, and then I was on my own.

I struggled through my clinical nights taking care of patients while suffering with

severe back pain, unable to take any medication stronger than ibuprofen for pain relief.

The eight hour nights spent on my feet were physically taxing and felt endless as my

excruciating pain ran up and down my back.

In order to get a car loan through my bank I knew I needed a steady income which

meant going back to work despite my current injuries. So I started back driving a school

bus for my previous employer of five years. They had no problem with rehiring me

because I was in good standing with them and the union, and I had been a reliable

employee in the past.

My savings was low, but I had three things on my side: excellent credit, a former

paid off car loan, and a long work history. I saved up a few thousand over two months

and combined my tax return money for a large down payment on a car. I qualified

for auto financing through my bank. I ended up in a new used Camry just in time for

graduation from the nursing program.

Some people might say, “why didn’t you just get a co-signer for your car financing?,”

well that was never an option for me. I don’t have anyone to bail me out of a jam. And

I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish on my own. I have security in know-

ing that anything I want in life I can have through my own hard work. And within me I

possess the strength to overcome hardships.