Growing up in a big Irish family, I have learned from shared stories, jokes, and memories. Love is the best thing to get us through the hard times and it’s the same thing that holds all of our memories together. With the help of my Irish family, I have been able to create with my own values, goals, and beliefs. My Gramps, the love that held our family together, always told me that we all have to live our lives to the fullest.
After Gramps was taken by a long struggle against cancer, I knew I would follow what he had always encouraged me to do. The difference was that instead of saying, “Yeah Gramps, I hear you,” I was actually telling people how I wanted to start living my life fully. I began pushing myself harder in swimming and dance, two activities I have always been very passionate about doing. By senior year, I made it to the Western Mass Swim Meet and at my last dance competition, I made it in the top five soloists.
I began doing things that I had always stopped myself from doing because I was either scared or I thought I had plenty of time to accomplish it. I participated in the Miss Teen Massachusetts pageant and ended up having one of the best times of my life. I went to the RMV to get my motorcycle permit so I could start driving, against my mother’s will. I planned a trip with some of my best friends to go skydiving for a birthday and graduation present to myself. It was something everyone tried to stop me from doing, but I am so happy I did it and continue to urge people to try it. Again against my mother’s will, I got the tattoo I had designed myself. I started to branch away from my typical teenage music favorites and started loving pretty much every kind of music. I started reading new books and trying things like yoga and new foods. I pushed my limits on the things that I could fit into my schedule, while still maintaining my grades in all of my classes and making it to work and appointments.
Life has handed me many obstacles to overcome, but I have always taken it in stride and stood up tall. I can’t wait for the next day, I’m always looking towards to the future. If something is to get someone down, I try to remind them that you only have one life to live. We all have to live it up because you could be gone at an instant. I have learned this the hard way, but I will be the first one to say it has made me stronger. It has helped me become the person I am today. I push myself to learn and get the grades I want because I know that if I want to be successful in the future, I need to deal with the pressures and the things that will help me get there today.
I believe that every person deserves that right to feel the same way as I do. I believe that everyone should be able to say “This is a good day,” or walk around with their head high and be able to rise above anything that might get in their way. I believe that if we are given opportunities, we should seize them. In the world today, we can’t wait for these opportunities to come back around again because who is to say that they really will. We shouldn’t take the risk of letting opportunities to better ourselves or to simply have an amazing time pass us by.
I truly believe that if we live each day to its fullest, we will be happier. We will be able to say, “I took advantage of all the things I could have.” We will be able to tell the stories of living and enjoying our lives. We will then be fulfilling the circle, I learned from stories, jokes, and memories but instead of just learning, I will be able to teach; just as my Gramps had done. Life is simply too short to walk through it and only follow a strict schedule. We should all capture as much as we can and learn all that the world has to offer us. We should try to slow it down. Not everyone will want to jump out of an airplane however, the simple things like trying new music, books, or foods will help to live your life to the fullest. It’s all about taking advantage of all of the opportunities the world has to offer and I do believe everyone should.
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