Play Your Cards Right
Cold tears streamed down my cheeks with no promise to cease. I squeezed my eyes shut hoping my mind would fade away. The loud bickering and disgruntled groans continued to echo through the house. My mothers usual,"How could you be so irresponsible?The rent's due today!" followed by my fathers predictable," It's not my fault they didn't pay me!" This was certainly not the most comforting of melodies to put me to sleep , but night after night, year after year, it became my lullaby.
I grew up in Houston, Texas as the oldest daughter of two Venezuelan immigrants. My life was not all that different from the average American kid . I was adventurous , mischievous and full of energy ( at the expense of my poor mothers sanity). However, while most kids were busy riding their bikes, playing in the afternoon, and worrying away with frivolous thoughts, I was home taking care of my two younger brothers and cooking dinner so my mom and dad could work longer shifts. It was hard to accept I was underprivileged because it never felt that way. We had everything we needed: food, clothes, and a roof over our heads. It just wasn't enough to fight the overwhelming uncertainty and fear that came with the instability. Instability that at my 13 years of age would claim a new identity , better known as "Divorce" and "Single Household Income".They say you don't know what you have until it's gone, but I disagree. I knew what I had I just never thought i'd lose it.
From then on my life took a 360 degree turn. I watched my mother struggle as a single parent and handle me and my brothers all on her own. The pending mountain of bills piling up by the day. At times, I could hear her muffle her cries of desperation . However, she would go out each day determined to achieve greater than the previous day despite every label that seemed to conspire against her chances. Single-mother, immigrant, with a mere highschool diploma to verify her work credentials. My mother scratched up these labels and gave them a new meaning. Every setback became her comeback and her motivation to persevere.She taught me that at essence success is a mentality state that only we can make a reality.This became my new lullaby.
I decided to change the way I thought about my obstacles and stopped focusing on controlling who I was. Instead, I became fixated on who I could be.I quit looking at every predisposed circumstance in my life as a disability and made it into my testimony. I no longer wallowed in my parents failures, my socioeconomic status, or my disadvantages, but rather used them as lesson to avoid committing the same errors and to build a better future for myself . Despite the obvious economic struggles at home, I sought after every opportunity given to me and went after each goal I set for myself. Never succumbing to the idea that money was an impediment to my future.
Throughout highschool I enrolled in the debate team and during my first year I was promoted to Varsity.I became a State Qualified debater in Lincoln Douglas debate as well as a State Qualifier and NSDA competitor in Policy debate.Additionally, I joined the Newspaper staff and achieved the role of Managing Editor and Business Manager. While easily typed, I assure you it was not as easily accomplished. But with the values I had learned, I persevered.
Perhaps you could argue that life did not deal me the best deck of cards.Although,life isn't about the cards you're dealt,because you can't choose those.Its about how well you play your cards and how you use them. My instability shaped who I am today.I allowed my fears and weaknesses to mold me into my strengths.As I continue my pursuit of knowledge, I hope to cultivate new life experiences that will help me grow in my professional field. I plan to pursue a career in law at the Texas A&M University and major at the School of Law or the College of Liberal Arts. I am not certain of what challenges my future promises however, I know that regardless of what they may be, Life is not about what I can or cannot do , but rather what im willing to do.