This I Believe: The journey to success

The bell rings, I wake up with the drool on my desk staggering to my feet, still dazed, I grab my backpack and walk out. Here I see popular logos, expensive clothing. Often I compare myself to others, especially when I hear about he or she got a 30 on the ACT, or how they have a 4.0 GPA and got accepted into a prestigious school. But for me I believe success in life is not based off of what you have, it’s how far you’ve come. I sometimes dream about becoming a doctor, or lawyer and living in a big house like you see in the movies.

Living it off rich, and successful. But to have all of those things doesn’t matter as much to me if you were already born into that condition. Driving in the car with my mother is one of the few times we have deep conversations. All locked in there are no other distractions as we ride the bumps along the old roads. Along the ride, those cracks that are in the street lay a lot of stories that are hidden.

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I get to hear my mother’s childhood memories that have never been told. The times she went to the beautiful botanical gardens, or when she visited the Catskill Mountains. But she also tells me about the harsh beginnings she had growing up. My mother, to me, is one of the most successful people I know. She has come from almost nothing.

She tells me about how she grew up in the 1960s poverty ridden borough, the Bronx just north of Manhattan. One of four daughters who never had their father, she was raised only by her mother whom was wedded to alcohol. They constantly trod throughout her childhood as they struggled to stay afloat and off the streets. At a young age, my mother had a job as a newspaper girl to support her family. She would have to run the streets of the New York suburbs racing to get the newspaper stand. She would try to sell them off as quickly as possible, to the men down the street at the bar, to earn the most money.

After finishing secondary school with no college in sight, she realized she had to do something to get out of the situation she was in. She gathered her bags and signed up for the Army. Only being five foot one, she was one of the very few woman at the time to be in the military. Focused and determined to succeed she served her time and gained a good reputation for her work. Later she went to college from the work she did in the military and gained her degree.

Soon after she was hired as a nurse.Now she is in the position that requires a master’s degree and has twenty years of experience. My mother may have not have a big house and lots of extravagant things, but she has certainly come a long way. That’s what makes her very successful. In the halls of school initially I see people and their accomplishments from behind a glass wall, merely observing from a distance. But what I don’t realize is that I myself have been very successful considering how far I have come.

In the beginning of high school my grades weren’t the most important thing. But now after lots of hard work, I’ve gotten my grades up and I stand at the front of all my classes, confident and proud. I plan to apply to college soon and become a lucrative commercial pilot. To truly judge a person’s success I believe you have to realize how far they’ve come first.