It's Not Where You're From, It's Where You're Going

It's Not Where You're From, It's Where You're Going

You are what you have become and where you are going.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Kacey Kadlec

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

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I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

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My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

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In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

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Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

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Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

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It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

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Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

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Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

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My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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