Like all children, when I was growing up all I ever wanted to do was to be big. I always kept a close eye on my role models (my parents) and always tried to do anything they did. The skills I learnt and the attitude I acquired from a young age would be of immense help to me in my later years.
From the age of five, the memories I have are those of following my father around the yard watching him wash the car and mow the lawn. My father would sometimes give me a small sponge so that i could help him wash the car and although the job I did was insignificant and most likely not done properly, I always got a sense of pride and satisfaction in my work. The mowing of the lawn was something I was not allowed to help or even be near for my own safety.
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In my teenage years, my role around the house had changed. My father was no longer around and my mother had the pressure of providing for my younger sisters and myself. During school holidays I was responsible for looking after my sisters and keeping them amused at the same time, not an easy task at all!
Gone were the days of the little sponge washing the car. During this time I had also managed to get casual employment. Although the money I earned was not significant it was enough for me to pay for my hobbies and ease some pressure off my mother.
Now as an adult I have a steady job and a tertiary education behind me. I have never seen myself as a victim nor did I accept sympathy from anyone because all the good and bad experiences of my younger years have helped me become a successful and determined person. The support that I received and continue to receive from my family was also a major drive for me to want to succeed as well.
I think that everyone’s life is always full of good and bad experiences. The key is to appreciate the good and find a way of turning a negative situation into a positive. For example, when my father was no longer around it could have been seen to be a negative situation. However, learning to look after my sisters and earning a little pocket money was perhaps the best and most useful experiences I had whilst growing up.