The Drive to Succeed

Toria - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on December 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Drive to Succeed

I believe I have gone left where I should have gone right. Failed to stop, sped through, and in some cases gone too slow. I’ve also taken a few detours, wrong turns and completely missed my turn here and there. Though this seems to be a likely telling of my driving tendencies, it is more suited for my life. And though I’ve been lost, in need of direction and turned all around at times, I believe I am right where I am supposed to be.

Almost ten years ago I was a freshman in college. Young and naïve, I had no idea how good I had it. With a lifestyle financed and uncomplicated I had only one thing to do, succeed. By the end of my first semester, I had done just that, finishing with all A’s and B’s. But then I took a wrong turn. By the second semester my A’s and B’s morphed into C’s and D’s as my focus shifted from the books to my newfound freedom and the social aspect of college life. Attending class became an inconvenience and studying, an activity for the dull as I successfully achieved academic probation by the third semester. As the semester ended, my suite-mates packed lightly to head home for the holidays, and I packed everything. I had lost my way.

Fast forward about three years later and now I’m a single mom. I was fortunate enough to have an okay job, an okay car, and a place to live. My goals were short-lived and mainly consisted of household expenses, daycare and gas. Lucky for me, the eight dollars an hour I made was just enough to cover the household expenses, daycare and gas. I eventually started working two jobs just to maintain, only to be caught off guard by setbacks like car troubles or a sick child with no health insurance. I was going in circles.

Now, my lifestyle was destitute and overwhelmingly complicated. My life, a struggle. It was all made worse by the haunting realization that I was where I was because of choices I had made; roads that I had taken. I knew no one would ever look at me and know that I once aspired to be a writer, politician, lawyer, or anything for that matter. I resembled what I had become, a struggling, young, uneducated baby mama; a statistic. It was here that I reached a breaking point. I decided I had gone as far as I could go in the direction I was headed.

So, like how we do a “U-turn” once we realize we’re headed the wrong way or have missed a turn, I turned things around. I put my eight dollar an hour job on the backburner and went back to school. With a better understanding of why I am here and the added responsibility of footing the bill, I have an extreme drive to succeed. I believe my detour through the despair of hard times brought me to this point. I believe my past failures were no accident. Though the struggle still exists, I know I’m headed in the right direction and believe I am where I am supposed to be.