Creating my Own Path

Courtney - Prescott Valley, Arizona
Entered on March 9, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe perseverance can get someone far in life, despite negative influences and family issues anyone may have.

I didn’t grow up in a very stable household environment. As I entered adolescence, my mother was rarely ever seen around the house due to chronic habits that teased the law and AA meetings. My father was a strict marine dropout. On the side he was and still is a recovering alcoholic over and over again. In order to stay away from home, I spent as much time at school as I possibly could.

At a young age I started to observe my family compared to others. I noted that families involving drugs tend to become a part of a cycle. This cycle seemed to always repeat itself from one generation to the next, especially from parents to kin. I never wanted to be a druggy. I always dreamed of going farther than my parents, so that’s what I focused on. I wanted to be a positive idol for my two younger siblings as well as my parents. I thought if I succeeded in life, then maybe they would as well. I decided I wanted to be the first in the family to go to college. There the perseverance began.

Keeping busy in school, I participated in a lot of sports, track in particular. After my first race I discovered a talent inside of me I never knew I had. This sport opened up an avenue for my future education, a way to financially get my foot into the college pool. Being a part of a team gave me the unity and stability I lacked at home. It made me feel needed, wanted and useful. Extracurricular activities kept my mind clear, and it pushed me to accomplish more, persevere.

Growing up in a strict low income household was unbearable at times. But never once did I pity myself or ask for anyone else’s pity. Looking back on my tough childhood, I wouldn’t have had it any different. It forced me to mature fast and create future plans for myself. It tested me physically, mentally and academically. The more I persevered in my activities the better I felt about my life and how great I made it. I hacked away the weeds in my life to create a pathway of my own as I bypassed others. I am proud to say that I have not allowed myself to get sucked into the spinning cycle of drugs and alcohol that have always been inches away from me. My life is exactly what I created it to be.

Perseverance can strengthen the mind and create a clear positive future for anyone willing to put in the work to make a difference. This is what I truly believe.