PROMPT: Describe a circumstance, obstacle, or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?
Obstacles are an everyday occurrence in life. Some are small causing short lived distress while others seem to shake us to our very core. I have had my share of problems both large and small and I have found that the most difficult obstacle I have overcome to be my father.
He and my mother divorced when I was 2 years old. My father wasn't truly present in my life until he decided to move to Texas when I was eight, resulting in much more frequent visitation. The abrupt lifestyle change left me worried, not only because of the new presence in my life but because my father had decided to take residence in a fairly large back room of a flower shop to save money for a house. There was no kitchen, bedroom, shower, or heater. Half of the room was occupied by his carpentry supplies, so the little space left available was tightly situated to accommodate a couch, two beds, a television, and a table with chairs. The room was dark because of the dark green walls and the absence of windows. There was an aura of coldness about it, accentuated by the chill of the concrete floor. The thought of having to live in this environment troubled me greatly. I was not accustomed to a lifestyle outside of my home with my mother, much less a lifestyle that lacked so many of the amenities that I felt were necessities. On top of these living conditions, a new religion (Mormonism) was imposed on me. I was not allowed to practice my faith and attend a Catholic service while I was with him. Instead I was forced to attend his church. All of these abrupt lifestyle changes I encountered upon my father's arrival scared me. I felt like I had to be two different people because of the huge difference between these two lifestyles. Rather than allowing this new circumstance to spiral my life out of control, I decided that I was not going to let it get in the way of my goals for the future.
The decision I made nine years ago remains today and my outlook has changed on the whole situation tremendously. One thing that hasn't changed are the conditions my father lives in. Thus far the promises of house have not been met and they may never be, and I have accepted that. I have accepted all of the hardships that I have experienced with my father and I have no animosity towards him. Instead I am thankful, because I have learned so much through this experience. It has taught me humility and sacrifice. I now know the steps he has taken to get to this point in his life so I am better able to avoid going down that same path. I've learned that you can't force anyone to change. I've learned forgiveness. And I've learned that the past doesn't define anyone, including myself.
I am now seventeen and I am sharing my final year with my father before I go to college, and I find myself reflecting on the many years we have spent together. It wasn't all bad, and I have plenty of fond memories to look back on. But I also have memories of discomfort and pain. Through it all I think I have become a better person, through the good and the bad. I have now changed my mission from making sure that this experience doesn't get in the way of my goals to using this experience and the lessons I have learned to help me in reaching my goals for the future.
I know that the intro isn't good. I couldn't think of anything good initially and just decided to jump into the body. Sorry for any spelling errors and I would really appreciate and input you may have.