This I Believe

Ashley - Collinsville, Illinois
Entered on October 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe

“If you put your mind to it, you can do anything, no matter what; don’t let anyone interfere with your dreams.” Those words of inspiration came from my mother. She always told me I had great talents, and that I should follow my dreams no matter what. If I believe that I can’t achieve my dreams just because someone told me I couldn’t, that would only make me a failure.

My aunt Ava, a really special person who was in my life died a few years back from cancer. She was an angel. The sweetest person I knew. When she was a young girl in high school, she had a talk with the school counselor about her future. Her counselor asked her what she wanted to do when she grows up. Ava simply replied, “My dream is to become a pharmacist.”

The counselor sat there with a puzzled look upon her face. Around this time, black women got very little credit for anything. So the counselor was very surprised to hear that Ava wanted to be pharmacist. The room was silent until the counselor finally said, “Pharmacist? You want to become a pharmacist?”

Ava immediately sensed that the counselor did not like the idea of her wanting to be a pharmacist. “Yes, a pharmacist,” Ava said politely. The counselor chuckled softly under her breath, and then let out a big sigh. Ava was surprised with the counselor’s response. You would think that because the woman was a school counselor she would encourage her. But it gets worse than that.

“Why would you want to be a pharmacist? I don’t understand. You know you won’t ever become one. What do you think everyone else would think about a black woman being a pharmacist?” Anger and hurt filled Ava’s eyes and a tear rolled down her check. But she wouldn’t let just a school counselor predict her future. So Ava stood up, kneeled down closer to the counselor’s face, and looked her straight in the eyes and said, “How dare you say such words to me? You’re my counselor, you’re supposed to encourage me, and tell me that I can do anything and achieve my dreams!”

The counselor was speechless, her eyes opened wide. “You know what?” Ava continued, “What you just said to me made me want to follow my dreams even more.” Then Ava left the room and never again spoke another word to that counselor.

Ava later on went to college and got her degree to become a pharmacist. She was a very intelligent woman who achieved her dreams, regardless of what her counselor, or anyone said. Maybe she needed someone to tell her something that harsh to make her try even harder. So by that, I learned that if someone tells me I can’t achieve my dreams, I shouldn’t let their words get to me. My dream is to become a cosmetologist, doing makeup for celebrities in movies and models on the run-way, and nothing is going to stop me from reaching the top.