I was eight years old in the third grade; my sister was eighteen in her senior year in high school. My sister had made what many people would call a “mistake” and became pregnant. This affected my life greatly. I was young and didn’t quite understand how this would affect me for the rest of my life but it did. It made home life difficult because my sister was always there for me after school when my mom was working late. After a couple of years she moved on with her life and moved out. I had to become independent.
Although my parents were always there to support me, they both worked jobs with long hours. My parents were divorced when I was nine months old and I have always lived with my mother. She always provided everything for me but worked several jobs. I learned how to cook dinner and do household chores around the house.
Seeing how one “mistake” affected my sister’s life so greatly made me more cautious about the decisions I made in my own life. Unfortunately these events in my life had a negative impact on me too. I grew up hearing that I was going to end up just like my sister for a long time. For half of my life I felt like I was growing up in her shadow and that everyone doubted my ability to achieve. This really affected me when I was younger. I wanted to break out of the box people placed me in and show them I was a totally different person.
My family put me down many times over the course of my life. They thought that since I wasfrom a city and had a public education I would end up no where. I took their negativity and made it positive for myself. I strived to do the best I could in school. My dad pushed me. I managed to get good grades and excel into Honors and AP classes throughout my high school career. Not only is it a great feeling to prove to people that I could do something they said I couldn’t. But it’s even more rewarding to know that I achieved it through my hard work and dedication to what I believed in.
Today I am seventeen years old and my sister is twenty-seven. She now has three kids and is unfortunately divorced. Her own “mistake” shaped my life greatly it made me cautious but also showed me that I cannot categorize people by where they come from or who their family is. I realize that I can’t let the harsh statements from people set me back. Instead I should use it as motivation. Thankfully through these hard times I have been able to maintain a close relationship with my parents, my sister, and my three nephews. More importantly I have become a positive row model and active person in my nephew’s life. Providing them with the attention I wasn’t always granted growing up. I try to attend most of their sporting events, baby-sit when needed, and visit on birthdays and holidays with hopes that they realize what took me many years to realize that there is always someone there for them.
I was lucky enough to have both my parents stand by my side and care about me. Moreimportantly I had my dad’s side of the family throughout my life to support me and to help me through hard times. Today I am a young adult who is ready to succeed more in my life.