Limits: Just an Imaginary Wall

Guadalupe - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 1, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I’ve learned that as long as I set no limits for myself, anything is possible. I have discovered that limits are just an imaginary wall, seemingly too tall to climb over, that people use as an excuse not to do something.

When I was younger, I didn’t know that limits were imaginary. People were always telling me “you can’t do that.” I believed them, and saw walls surrounding me. College was supposedly something out of my reach because I was poor. A happy, peaceful, and safe life I was told was beyond my limits, and I accepted what I thought was the reality.

But one day all this changed. Just home from school, I leaned against the door jamb and observed my mother as she sewed a pair of pants. As I observed her tired face, I thought about all the hours she had to work so that I could have something to eat. I thought about how she raised me on her own despite all those times people told her, “You can’t raise that child on your own.” I remembered that she would laugh at the remark and respond, “Yes I can. I can do anything because limits are only in your mind.” Then I understood what she meant. I was free; nothing could stop me anymore because I discovered the secret: limits don’t exist.

Since then I never again saw any boundaries that could stop me from achieving what I desired. I’ve done even what seems impossible to many others. For example, when I came to America, I knew only two words in English, “yes” and “no.” But I never stopped believing that I could learn the language and become someone in this country. Many told me that I couldn’t go to a good school because I was poor, that I wasn’t going to go to college because my parents never did, that I was going to get pregnant because that was what most of my cousins did, and that I was going to be nothing but the wife of some man because that was the most a Hispanic girl like me could hope for.

But they were wrong. I learned English. I now go to a college preparatory school where I’ve become an outspoken leader. In two years, I will go to college. Though I hope to be married some day, I will not be just the wife of some man; I will be a business woman, a loving mother, someone who doesn’t let others set limits for her.

I’ve become a girl who is not afraid to reach for the unthinkable because I believe nothing is out of my reach. I have knocked down that imaginary wall. I believe that limits don’t exist. Today when people tell me “you can’t do it,” I respond to them confidently with a smile on my face and say, “yes I can.”