Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.
Survival, culture, hate, compassion, triumphs and failures. This is my life story summed up. If my life was a literary piece of art it would bear no title. Titles they say describe content. But I am a book without a cover. Yearning ever so more for the wisdom to know and the knowledge to understand.
I originate from a family where no one has darkened the walls of a higher institution. Finding myself within this columbarium of hell on earth which makes us the epitome of our town. Making us seem like callow beings to others and leaving our ambitions and hope in a drivel state. Going to college was my fictitious reality.
As a fatherless child, growing up was a daunting jackpot of uncertainty, manipulations and insecurity. I have died everyday waiting for him, each passing moment with breathless cries as my heart in confusion display. Unknowing when this pain shall seize. The only son to my mother, I strived hard in school and kept my grades up. For that was the silver and gold she had to offer. I was emotionally disabled and lacked paternal protection, which made me an easy prey. I craved masculine affection and fatherly care from the fathers of my friends and men I encountered along the way, which in time took advantage of me. These are battle scars embedded in my skin from the wars I fight.
It took an entire childhood of bullying and teenage years of misplaced trust. Putting up a strong façade to hide my weakness within.
It took nights of consistency; persistently finding every reason to compliment my reflexion after days of people pointing out my flaws.
It took lies and lies and more lies, till I lied to myself so much that I forgot my own truth. It took forgetting my own truth and painting a mental picture of someone I could never be that unleashed my hope and alter-ambition for a brighter future.
I made use of every opportunity that came my way and took advantage of all the resources I had and strived in being positively productive in all I did. This light that shines wasn’t placed inside of me. I had to take that chip from the sun. I then learned that it took creating reasons to be alive. I was a child trying to find his way.
Alone, I came to America. With two things- a suitcase and a world empowering dream. Enrolling into junior year in high school I realized my transcript from Sierra Leone wasn’t considered in international accreditation and grade evaluations were totally different. Which made my GPA low, and having to earn a 4.0 within the two year span I had left. Seeing the judgeful eye of my counsellor wondering how vacuous I was from my transcript; I will not let my results decide my fate. I assured her of working smart and hard to attain the goals set. – The measure of who I am is what I do with what I have. I immersed myself in extra-curricular activities to gain opportunity and study the American culture. Only to discover how it felt to be a minority in a population consisting of 92.8% Caucasian.
Junior year came to an end. Having acquired a 3.6 GPA, being among the top of my class, making the top lead in various choirs and Theater shows and breaking the school’s literary magazine with an empowering essay-titled ‘Tears of My People’.
I am now a senior. The president of DECA. A committed member of the FBLA. A section leader of the choral program. An outstanding deli clerk at shop-rite. The founder of Roxbury fashion for relief campaign which aids the orphan children of Sierra Leone. The lead soloist in my church. A dedicated member of interact club and an A-1 marketing student.
It took me looking into a broken mirror and still seeing myself whole. This beauty of accomplishment they see, is a war cry that finally claimed its voice.
My life is not this man-made organized timeline where I graduate high school and go to college. It more than what they see; It is a blank canvas where I hold the paintbrush, and my masterpieces don’t end until I have the signature of God.
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