Kristen - Grove City, Ohio
Entered on April 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Everyone goes through hardships in life and I am no exception. It is important to understand that everyone struggles and suffers in some way, and it is necessary to be able to recover quickly. For this reason, an important belief of mine is that people should learn to be resilient.

The common perception about misfortunes is that you should move past them or get over them. For me it is more about bouncing back and learning from these changes rather than getting over it. By just getting over the hard times you are not gaining any knowledge for the future from those experiences. The hardest situation I’ve faced was the divorce of my parents when I was very young.

At five years old I was a normal kindergartner who was happy with her life of playing with Barbie dolls and dressing up. Although I was young I had the ability to understand that something between my parents was changing. Thinking back, it’s hard to realize that the earliest memory you have of your childhood is of watching your parents scream at each other in their bedroom. I could tell that there was tension between them but I didn’t know that they wouldn’t be able to fix it. They eventually decided that it would be better for every one if they got a divorce.

My mother was the one with the steady job and was chosen to be the one we would live with, while my father was only granted partial custody. It was really hard to wake up every morning knowing that you would only see your father on Wednesdays and every other weekend, and his absence created a space between him and me. As I grew up it wasn’t a surprise that spending time with him became less and less of a priority of mine, but it hurt to know that we weren’t as close as a father and daughter should be. I eventually learned to accept that my mother and father were much happier apart, and ultimately my family had changed for the better even though it didn’t feel like it at the time. So I decided to make the best of the situation, because even though my parents were not together they were both in my life and that was all that matters.

Ultimately, facing serious issues and hardships in your life will help you overcome the problems you face in the future. In order to get through the changes and misfortunes you must maintain a sense of resiliency, and be able to spring back from whatever life throws your way. If you do not have the ability to recover and learn from the mistakes you make, you can never truly grow as a person. The greatest achievement in life is not to never fail, it is to rise back up every time we fall. If you fall five times, then stand up six.