This I Believe

Ashley - Conway, Arkansas
Entered on November 6, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Making Your Own Way

It was a cool November morning, I had just turned sixteen. I rushed out of bed, ran out the door completely anxious to see what awaited me in the drive way. And then, complete disappointment. I was sixteen, on my way to get my license that very day, but where was the car? I asked my mother but she only replied, “If you want something like that then you’re going to have to work for it.” My naïve outlook on life had led me to believe that this was just a simple part of growing up. I thought that part of turning sixteen was having your parents buy you a car. Instead of going to the DMV that day, I proceeded to my local Pizza Hut to apply for a job. I soon got hired and started saving my money. After about a year of cutting dough and spilling drinks I finally had enough to start looking for a vehicle. As it turns out, there was a 1993 Camaro outside of our Wal-Mart that was on sale. All was going well for about five months. I had my car, I had my job, and I had satisfaction in my independence. I had only made it about a mile down our road when it happened, the first mechanical problem with my car. The clutch, of all things, had gone out and when I heard the unthinkable cost of this repair. Eight hundred dollars; where was I going to come up with that kind of money? I asked my parents for a little financial aid, but only received, “if you need money to fix your car then you’re going to have to work for it.”

Though these times were very hard for me to get through, and many more difficult ones came, the words of my parents “you’re going to have to work for it” still replay in my mind today. I am now nineteen and have been completely independent from the minimum age I legally could be. I worked hard for three years to buy my own car, pay my own bills, and even now, put myself through college. “You’re going to have to work for it.” I never really understood the power of these words when they were viciously thrown in my face when I was in desperate need of help, but now I understand and respect them completely. I may not have always had the best materialistic things when left to work for them, but I did have them. I learned at an early age to make your own way, and that when you can do that for yourself, literally nobody can hold you back. There is nothing better than the satisfaction of making it through trials and tribulations of your life, but there is no satisfaction better than knowing that you did it on your own.