Growing up, I was spoiled rotten. I was blessed with a mother, father, and sister who loved me dearly and wanted the best for me in all aspects of life.
My mother and father were married, and from birth to about 10, I lived in the house with both parents. My sister is 12 years older than me, so when I was in the first grade, she was going away for her first year of college. After she graduated, she moved seven hours away, so we really never lived together for a long period of time.
Around my 10th birthday, my parents decided to separate. My dad had been a functioning alcoholic all my life, and my mother thought it was time for a new and better life without him. So she left. She left her house behind and never looked back.
I felt my world was turned upside down until I realized I would have two of everything – two rooms, two houses, two different lives with two separate parents.
As I grew older, I knew I could do certain things at my father’s house that my mother would not allow. He let me stay out all night, let me go over friends’ houses, and stay up all night – things my mother would not even think of letting me do.
As a teen, I started disobeying my mother. I did not want to live with her and started turning against her rather than listening to her.
My father had so much animosity towards her, he wanted to make me happy so that I wanted to leave her like she had left him. But then I changed for the best.
I started to focus on school more and got my grades up, and then I started applying for jobs. By the time my 16th birthday rolled around, I got hired at Sonic. I was a junior in high school maintaining above average grades and had my own source of income.
My mother was pleased with the turn around in my life and got me a car for my next birthday. She said the car was paid for, and I was on her insurance. I just had to keep up my good work and made sure I went to Sunday School and church every Sunday to keep my car.
I ensured her I would and did. I went from a rebellious teenager to a God-fearing young woman who wanted more out of life. I went to church, school and work faithfully.
As my senior year was coming to an end, I applied to many colleges. My mother pushed me and said, “Your sister went to a university, and you will too. I will not accept anything else.”
I received three acceptance letters from universities and choose Ole Miss. Quentella Knox, my sister, said, “Long as you get a degree, you’ll go far, and nobody can every take your degree from you.” Even though most of my family went to Mississippi State, they were still happy.
Through my bad stages in life, my mother never gave up on me, and she always made sure I knew my full potential. My mother, Gwen Warren, said, “I knew you would be great in life. You were just always spoiled and needed guidance.”
My father has still played a part in my growth. He taught me forgiveness and patience. He has not always been a great person, but he has always stayed true as a parent and always let me know he genuinely loves me.
Now, I am still focusing on my self growth and moving forward in life. I only want to get better and look back at all my accomplishments, so I challenge myself to only judge me. Your worst enemy can only be you.
I see myself evolving daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. My whole mindset has changed. Family can really be all you need to get through tough times.
Judging others will not mean a thing if your life isn’t together, and nobody’s life is ever together. You have to do self evaluation and look in the mirror before you judge others.
Stay true to those who are true to you, and stay out the way of others. Maybe your biggest problem could be you.