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A Loss With A Lesson

Reflecting on how I have become an adult requires a jaunt down memory lane. As my journey began, I saw many of the same faces of important people who are still in my daily life. Fortunately, I’ve been able to live in the same house my entire life with my siblings and parents. Not only have I had that stability, but many of my closest friends have also experienced the same.  This foundation provided me with a caring, loving, and supporting network as I ventured into my adulthood.

My life hasn’t been the perfect fairytale adventure; in fact, it is those challenging moments and times that truly define who I have become. My family owned a business for 16 years, keeping my parents, two siblings and I at a comfortable place in our lives financially. When the economy crashed, the business went under, leaving my family in extreme financial hardship. My parents concentrated on maintaining important parts of our lives. They focused on keeping the house, making sure my siblings and I were able to participate in the activities we loved, and giving us a supportive environment. After the loss of a business our lives had revolved around for so long, my parents never let us know the extent of the burden they faced. Determined not to let their business failure define them, they immediately started searching for new jobs. My mom switched her career focus and is now fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming a schoolteacher. My dad leveraged his experience into obtaining a successful sales executive position. They are now both at a stable place in their work, with promising futures. I gained a new profound respect for my parents after seeing how they dealt with the hardships and stress they had gone through. Having those core influences in my life has taught me the responsible, adult way of dealing with failure.
My parents went through many hard months in their search of finding stable jobs. I saw the pressure they were under and felt the need to contribute. I got a job as a sixteen-year-old, to help relieve my parents of some of the stress they were enduring. Throughout my first job I developed a greater understanding of responsibility and what it means to work hard. I became more independent as I no longer had to depend on my parents in every aspect of my life. Because of my commitments, I was not free to do whatever I wanted anymore. Part of my transition into becoming an adult was being able to rely on myself and balance all my responsibilities through hard work.

Having my family stay together through this hardship has shown me the importance of maintaining a strong support system. We transitioned into living a new “normal”, but stayed positive throughout the change. Despite the loss of material possessions, we ultimately kept our core values as a family. Rising from low moments or excelling in others, having that support system helped me face challenges without losing myself as I became an adult.
The loss of my family’s business and the financial instability that followed gave me the key components that made me the adult I am today. This ordeal showed me how to undergo failure productively rather than letting it defeat me. As I embrace this lesson, I continue to successfully take on new responsibilities that enable me to be self-reliant. Having my family and friends as a constant supporting factor provides me with the stability I need in order to mature. The experience of loss and failure has given me more confidence and motivation in pursuing my dreams.