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Why live for myself and strive for success? Why not?

As a high school senior who has traveled many arduous paths and overcome all odds against her, I see the world differently from those around me. "You see things and say, 'Why?' but I dream of things that never were and I say, 'Why not?' " The world is my threshold.

High school has been everything a person can imagine but easy; moving from foster home to foster home, trying to conceal my mother's addiction, even forcing myself to appear happy for my peers and my teachers. Weary of fighting for my mother's love and attention, I let her and my past go in order to focus on making my dreams become a reality. Therefore, I placed my dreams of graduating from high school, college and then law school at the top of my to-do list. Past teachers, counselors and even some of my adoptive relatives ask me why I chose to pursue a degree in law. I simply respond, "Why not?"

I dream of becoming a lawyer for underrepresented teenagers in the foster care system -- to introduce these teenagers to a person who has trod a similar path to the one they are traveling. I know the possibilities are endless, and I would like those underrepresented teens to know the same. Motivation and support can mean a lot in anyone's life.

Growing up in a broken home, I automatically became a statistic. I would either be addicted to drugs, in jail or on welfare. I use those opinions of scientists and doctors who do not know my struggle or the battle within myself as my motivation to continue to beat the odds and continue to succeed in life. Those disparaging statistics will not define the woman I become 10 years from now. Even as a foster child, the odds are still against my success, but I refuse to fail.

I finally found a permanent home and a mom who responds with, "Why not?" every time I ask why. She supports my dreams 100 percent of the way. Now that I am finally being adopted at 17, the question why arises numerous times. I simply respond with the question "Why not?" I have finally found a home, and I feel like, after all the tribulations in my life, I deserve to have a home legally and in my heart. I used to find myself asking, "Why?" every time I made a decision, and now, at 17, I finally ask myself "Why not?"

Why not live for myself and not my addict mother? Why not strive to be the greatest of all time? Why not shoot for the moon and land among the stars? Why not make my dreams a reality? Why not prove everyone who has doubted my ability to succeed wrong? From childhood to maturity as a young woman, I am now living for myself. I see the impossible and ask myself, "Why can't I make that possible?"

Web posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011

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