There are some days where I spend a good amount of time reminiscing or reflecting on the past. I also like to reflect on the many societal memories of my time.
I remember when I was young:
-Bell bottom jeans were in style
– Having a perm was the way to go
– Spice Girl’s music was hot
– The Lion King movie came out
– Bay watch was the show on My 9 T.V. station and there was DAVID HASSALHOFF!!!
– Tu Pac was a popular artist
– Michael Jackson’s music was on the charts
– Back Street Boys and N’sync were the heart throb of many young girls (including myself)
– CD players became in style
-Crash Bandicot video game was an all time favorite.
Oh my…. so many memories from my era!!
On a more personal note, I also reflect on my past successes and past failures and
I remember those positive and negative moments in my life. Moments that have shaped me and molded me into who I am today…. both in my strength and weaknesses.
When I was in High School I had 3 goals in mind:
1. To excel academically.
2. To participate in as many extracurricular activities.
3. To do as well as possible so that I could attend a good college.
When I started high school I was introduced to a program called POSSE, which was only available to high school seniors. Through this program you had the opportunity to receive a full scholarship to one of eight schools in their network. The requirements were simply excelling academically and demonstrating excellent leadership skills. I really wanted to receive this scholarship. I would be the first generation to attend college in my family and a full scholarship would assist my mom financially.
Once I entered the tenth grade, I joined the basketball team, and the softball team. I also joined the student government where I held the offices of secretary and vice president, and I was also a part of the International Christian Club. I was really busy!! In addition to my extracurricular activities, I also studied hard to ensure that I maintained an A grade point average throughout the course of my high school years. Thank God I was successful. Things were looking good for me and I actually saw the scholarship well within my reach.
Finally, senior year came and it was time to start applying to college. I finally had a chance to apply for the POSSE scholarship. There were many high school seniors who applied for this scholarship right along with me. We all had to go through a series of group interviews and after they were done, a select number of interviewees were invited for a second interview, and then after a third. By the time we got to the third interview, there were only three seniors left and out of the three only one would receive the scholarship. I was one of the 3. We each had individual interviews and after the process was done I was hopeful that I would receive the scholarship. After an intense waiting period, I received news that I was not chosen for the scholarship.
My heart was crushed! I couldn’t understand! I felt that I had earned the opportunity to attend Brandeis University. I met with my college advisor who was also shocked that I was not chosen and in looking into it learned that the reviewers felt that I would have other opportunities for scholarships because of my excellent grades, and offered it to someone else that they felt didn’t have as much of a great chance as I did.
At that time I just couldn’t understand. Why would God not allow me to receive such an opportunity? I would be the first generation in my family to attend college! I believed that I deserved it.
At the time, I was broken over this lost opportunity. I felt cheated. It seemed as if I was “penalized” for excelling.
How has this situation shaped me and made me better today?
My high school experience created a leader in me. My experiences helped me to build ministries, plan events, lead out in my church, teach my own children elements of basketball and softball, write drama musical plays just to name a few.
Also, not going to Brandeis University opened up opportunities for me at Stony brook University; where I played a part in developing a ministry, serving as choir director for the gospel choir, working as an Resident Assistant (RA), and ultimately earning a Master’s degree in occupational therapy.
Another moment that I can recall was growing up in a single family home. Life was hard for me growing up as a child and I had to witness and endure various situations that children should never have to experience. I witnessed my mom go through two abusive marriages, having to work hard to support her family, having to hold it all together when she really wanted to break down. I remember when we were taken away by ACS(Administration of Children Services). I remember being separated from my mother, and from all my siblings. I remember the hurt and emptiness I felt as I watched tears roll down my sibling’s cheeks. All this was happening as Vanessa Williams’ “Save the Best for Last” song was playing in the van. (I’m tearing up as I write this—it was really a sad moment).
This experience has scarred me for the rest of my life…but
How has this situation shaped me and made me better today?
My desire for family is so great. I want to stay married, and I want my children to be raised in a two parent home. My parenting style has been originated from this experience; my desire to be with my children and be there for them is strong. My level of patience with them is greater, my love for my siblings grew and this experience has helped me to love better.
Our past serves as a stepping stool for our future. We all go through different trials and situations and we have to learn how to pull the “motto” or the “lesson” from our situations and use it to build the present and the future.
I want to encourage you to let the past pave your way for your future. Let your experiences serve as your foundation. You were created to live with purpose, to fulfill great dreams and aspirations. You have to chase after your dreams and not allow your past to hinder you. Instead let your past push you into greatness!!
1. “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Søren Kierkegaard
2. “The past beats inside me like a second heart.” – John Banville, The Sea
3. “We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
4.”Study the past if you would define the future.” – Confucius
5. “The past was always there, lived inside of you, and it helped to make you who you were. But it had to be placed in perspective….” – Barbara Taylor Bradford,
~ Candace Mezetin