I Believe in the Possibility of Change

Danielle - Gilbert, Arizona
Entered on December 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that change can happen to anyone, whether it’s for better or worse. I’ve gone through a few life experiences seeing family members change so dramatically. My cousin, Leslie, had a tragic death in her life which sent her in the wrong direction and my dad underwent a divorce with my mother after over 20 years together, which had a surprising positive effect on my father.

When I was younger Leslie would watch after me and my siblings. She was the cool, hip, young cousin we all loved. She was amazing; I idolized her in every way. I would spend the majority of my time with Leslie and her two younger boys. She became a mother figure to me. To think about the old memories we used to share makes it depressing to see how Leslie’s life is now. Leslie’s husband died of an accidental over dose of pills which ultimately caused heart failure. That’s when everything started to change.

Leslie’s whole outlook on life seemed to change. She started abusing drugs and alcohol and started taking pills regularly. She loved her kids but her love began to fade as the drugs began to take over her life. She got addicted right off the back. She would shoot up or smoke anything she could to get that irresistible high. I was young when all this took place but I was not naïve, I knew why the sudden change in heart and appearance. It is a terrible thing to witness someone you love ruin their life and you can’t do anything about it. However, not every change is going to be for the worse, take for instance my father. He went from a verbally abusive husband/father to a loving dad who wants nothing more than to see his children succeed.

Growing up with my father was a challenge. He had strict rules and knew how to enforce them. His regulations ranged from as small as having the sheets on your bed correctly at all times to a little more perverse, having to have my hair cut above my ears until the age of 11. He was also a very verbally abusive; I can clearly recall him referring to my mother as “fat so”, “cow”, “pig”, ect all throughout my childhood. By the end of my Junior year my parents were divorced.

As odd as it may be the divorce had a positive effect on my father. It’s like he finally realized what he had been doing all these years. He sympathetically apologized for his behavior in the past and promised he was going to try and change his behavior. Without the divorce I might have gone my whole life still holding a grudge against him. He is now the father I have wanted all my life.

Change is an amazing thing. There are so many various ways to change, on a positive note or on a negative one. No matter what kind of person you are or what you’ve endured throughout your life you can always change and become the person you want to be. Never let the challenges in life set you back just always remember change is always possible.