This I Believe

Nayantara - Flushing, New York
Entered on October 13, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

This I believe…Struggling is strengthening

I believe in the unyielding power of struggle. I spoke to my Mother this afternoon about my plans upon graduation and she felt that my best option would be to continue my education. At 23, I would like to enter the work force for a few years before pursuing my lofty goal of a doctorate. She has always been ambivalent about my choice in psychology as a career, so to her, the job market will be daunting. This is not easy for her because she has spent my entire life making sure I haven’t struggled and here I want to throw myself into a complicated and demanding situation earlier than she sees fit. I am self aware enough to be able to own my privileges and it is with the same voice that I can say that I have not been in want or need of anything. My Mother has worked hard to make sure that I haven’t had to. That is an amazing gift. And I am extremely grateful, but I have no idea what I am capable of because my automatic instinct is to run to her protective cover.

I for one, cannot wait for this challenge. Because this is an opportunity for me to have a better grasp on who I am. There will be failures and extremely tough moments but learning about what I am made of will prove to be a greater reward. That is what difficulty and working hard for something does. It sheds light on your character and the resiliency of your spirit. Struggle tests your will and shows you your inadequacies. But I need to do this on my own, even if it means that I stumble because I need to learn to pick myself up and keep going. Eventually, there will come a time when she will not be able to help me. No one will, and I will need to know that I am strong enough, capable enough to be alright. In the end, I am all I truly have and I need her to trust that she has done a good job at preparing me for this adventure.

What is ironic about this is that she too is struggling. She is negotiating what it means that her oldest daughter is growing up and forging her own way. It also means that she relinquishes the control she has had. My growing up means that she will see me flailing and falling and that cannot be an easy sight for any parent. But it is necessary. Struggle is necessary. Difficulty is necessary. It is what cultivates strength and independence- the same two qualities that I am extremely proud to have inherited from her.

So Mummy please know that you have raised a daughter who treats each day as an opportunity to learn and ultimately better herself in the hopes of one day being able to look back in pride at all she has accomplished, failures and all.