It’s Not About Where I’m From, It’s About Where I’m Going.

Jan 30, 2024 | Success Stories

Growing up, my dad and I lived in many places. Portland was the house with the splintered picnic table, and I vividly remember the short period we spent in Uncle Jesse’s spare bedroom. Along with all the different squeaky pull-out couches and inflatable air mattresses that would be flat by morning. This lack of physical stability didn’t always follow me though. We did find that beaten-blue rental with the cluttered shared rooms, caged by eggshell yellow walls coated in aged cigarette smoke. What had stuck with me was the wish and empty promise of contentment that had settled emotionally and mentally within me for years later. It wasn’t until high school that I would obtain that contentment. In the end, the journey and growth along the way were what mattered.

A lot of negativity surrounded me throughout my early years, that being people or settings, it made me a very confused child. Among the chaos, someone told me I wouldn’t be anything. It was a harsh and conflicting thing to grow up believing. I had been convinced I wasn’t, and wouldn’t, be anything, so I never cared enough to put myself out there or put in any general effort. In the 8th grade, on a random Friday morning, my cousin, not much older than I am now, passed away. It was after that that I started receiving professional help from a nice brunette lady with a warm and flawless smile. She had pink, flushed cheeks and eyes glossed with empathy, which I still clearly remember. For the first time, I felt heard, and I learned what it was like to feel seen. That experience was the first step towards an impact beyond what I can explain in words.

Later on, I didn’t fit in much and didn’t know how to ask for help. Silently, I suffered a terrible depression that drained my mental health, and still, even though I was older then, I didn’t see myself becoming anything. So in 10th grade, I started receiving professional help again. This time it was a welcoming, soft-toned man who taught me valuable and inspirational lessons about myself and life in general. These lessons I still utilize today and intend to use throughout college. The first thing he taught me was that I’d never be able to be or do more if I couldn’t first convince myself that I was compatible. Moving forward, my time in therapy taught me that asking for help was a benefit and not a weakness. I’ve learned about the person I want to be and that what’s truly important is the impact I leave on people rather than what they think of me. Without the support I had been offered, I’m uncertain where I’d be right now. It’s truly helped me grow so much as a student, peer, and even as a person. Since then, my grades have drastically and continuously improved, my attitude is more inviting and optimistic, and I push myself to be more engaged with my school and community. It was hard to change the aspect of my mind that told me I couldn’t become something, but the idea of my future was too riveting to give up on. 

Before, I had never known what I wanted from my future; I never envisioned college as an attainable opportunity. Now, I have goals to achieve a higher education in psychology and child/family studies. I want to be the kind lady with the warm smile who offers a welcoming, safe place. I hope to make people feel heard and validated, just as I did. When I think of my life as a whole, where I’ve come from, and how far I’ve gone, I’m thankful. My life has made me realize I want to continue to be and do more, focusing on not only where I’m from but where I’m going.

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