The thought that your past determines your future is nothing else but a fallacy. Given certain circumstances, this may be understandable. But, the past is not the only deciding factor of your future. You are.

Where you're from is not who you are.

Geographically, where you were born and raised cannot physically hold you back from where you go in life. If you grew up in a small town but have dreams of moving to a big city to be the CEO of some huge business, that is an obtainable goal. This is not to say that those around you, in your hometown, will not tell you that you are crazy for thinking that is possible. When I tell people from my small town what my future plans are the reactions range from "That's great, go for it!" to "That's going to be really hard. You should try to be a nurse instead." Everyone, of course, is entitled to their opinion, but just because you are told time and time again that your life goals are "unobtainable" or "unrealistic," does not mean that is what you should believe. You are in charge of your life. So, go after your dreams. They are yours, nobody else's.

Who your parents are is not who you are.

By those who do not know you, personally, but know your family, odds are they will judge you based on their views of them. This may be in your favor, but it also may not. From my own experience, those who know my parents automatically expect me to be like them. But I am nothing like them. For those who do not know me but know my mother, they wouldn't be surprised if I ended up unemployed. For those who do not know me but know my father, they wouldn't be surprised if I ended up in prison. Most who do not know me but know them, feel sorry for me and how I have grown up. But I do not want anyone's pity. My parents made their own life choices that got them where they are, just like I have made my life choices that have got me to where I am.

One thing that really upsets me is seeing good children following the steps of their parents that lead to them going down the wrong path. You do not have to be what your parents are, despite what everyone puts in your head. It may be easier than not to follow in their footsteps, growing up. But, you do not have to live the same life your parents did. You can do better than what they did. You do not have to believe in what they do. You are in charge of your own life. You are you. You are not your parent's mistakes or their success, for that matter.

What you have is not who you are.

Just because your family does not have a lot doesn't mean that you can't be successful. They say "money isn't everything," and they are right. But, money obviously plays a major role in our everyday lives. That is not to say that finances should restrict anyone from reaching their goals. It may take more time to reach them if you do not have what others have. But, not having money does not put your goals out of reach. You can get a job to provide for yourself. You can study hard to make good grades or play sports or participate in clubs, to get scholarships to go to college. There are so many ways you can come out of what you grew up with. You just have to do it for yourself. It may not be easy, but if you want success it is an option for anyone who is willing to work for it.

You are who you make yourself.

Where you came from, who your parents are, and what you have grown up with has shaped you into who you are. These factors have helped you develop your morals, taught you what to do (as well as what not to do), and shown you what it is like to do without. Where you are from is nothing, in which, you should be ashamed. I won't lie to you and say that others won't judge or make fun of where and what you come from. Because they will. People can be extremely judgemental and cruel. These people should make you want to work even harder, though, to be everything they think you will never be. Do not let what people say or think about where you come from put any doubts in your mind.

You are what you have become and where you are going, not where you came from. Don't forget it.