“The past is never where you think you left it.”
― Katherine Anne Porter
I was gonna write this long, cleverly worded introduction to what I wanted to write about today, but I often find that the words of others do a better job of explaining what I want to say than my own words.
In my mini bio you will see that I say something to the effect of I don’t really know where I’m going but I know where I come from and I’m not going back. My day at work today was a perfect symbolic representation of that line and of my journey of life up until this point and heading forward. Let me explain…
I work on campus at my University’s Admissions Office. One of the MANY tasks that I perform is checking folders of applicants before they go off to counselors for them to make a decision as to whether or not the student will be admitted to the University. In checking the folders I always like to quickly skim the student’s essay because it breaks up the monotony of the day and every so often I’ll stumble across a pretty good essay. **note to any college applicants reading, stop writing about “the big game” in your essays! If the most significant experience in your life was a high school sporting event, then you need to get out more** But, every once in a while I come across a sad essay which normally don’t effect me but I came across one today that struck a pretty big cord within me. To sum it up quickly, this girl’s essay was about how her parents had left her with a, shall we say, less than caring Grandparent, and how she then had to runaway and was homeless for a short period of time before living with friends; all the while performing very well academically in high school. So let me give you a little background on myself here and then you can understand why this struck a cord…
A brief history of myself (I’m sure I will go into more detail at some point in the future): I was born to a teenage mom and a dad who left before I was ever able to have a memory of him. My mother was involved with a bad crowd and mad bad decisions; worst of all being my step-dad. To sum this up quickly without going into deep details, my mother was addicted to drugs as was my step-dad and he was also an alcoholic on top of that. My mom spent much of my childhood in prison and therefore left me in the “care” of my step-father. Long story short, at the age of 16 I was kicked out of my house and was homeless for a little while until I was taken in by a friend and spent the rest of my high school years living with some great families. Through this I maintained a decent GPA in high school which allowed me to go to college, and here I am today. As I said, this is very brief and I am sure at some point I will get into some deep details, just not today (it’s only my second post, give me some time). You can see why this girl’s essay struck a cord and got me thinking a lot about my past, and where I came from and how, as I said, have no plans on going back.
Now another thing happened today that leads me into my future and where I am headed. On campus, I am involved with a number of leadership roles on campus, the most rewarding of which is that of a Peer Advisor, which simplified is basically a mentor for first year students. I recently applied for the biggest leadership role possible within this group of amazing student leaders that would put me partially in charge of leading this outstanding group of individuals. I got word today that I had been accepted for this role which quickly turned my day around because this is a position I am truly, and honestly passionate about unlike anything else I’ve been a part of. Just like that I went from a solemn contemplation of my past to a giddy outlook on my future here at WNE. Much like my life, this day was filled with ups and downs. However, it never fails to amaze me what I have overcome to be able to do all that I am doing today.
My past has definitely shaped who I am, but it does not determine what I am doing today, nor will it dictate what my future will become. I will constantly be faced with reminders of my past, and will constantly be confronted with bad memories but the key for me is to quickly replace past bad memories by those I am able to make today. And that too, can be they key for you. (unintentional corny rhyme).
-I am A PRODUCT OF MY PAST BUT NOT DEFINED BY IT