Posted by: Staff | 02.21.2008

College Essay VIII: “Today I Am Fearless”

ANONYMOUS

Today I am fearless. Today I know what is right. Today I have my own authentic voice, but this has not always been the case. I have overcome extraordinary obstacles to realize my strengths and abilities.

At age 12 I thought it was normal to meet with a court officer. I thought having to explain why I loved both my parents was ordinary, almost like a right of passage. Little did I know this was not the only court officer I would have to speak to. Eighteen court cases later, I have realized this situation is beyond common. Our family has been through the mother of all custody disputes and somehow, I grew because of it.

Five and a half years ago my dad showed up after school to give my brother and me the most devastating news of our lives. My Mom filed for sole custody of my brother and me. Together we cried all the way home from school and cried as we sat at home. When we called our Mom to explain that our dad was the best dad in the world she didn’t listen. For months that eventually turned into years, I felt threatened by the fear of being ripped away from my dad. The feelings of fear and anxiety around the clock are practically indescribable.

The pressure that came from my Mom and extended family overwhelmed all aspects of my 7th grade life. My Mom had finagled the entire neighborhood, friends, family and oddly enough his own parents to side against my dad. The mounting numbers of supporters made me question my own father, even though on some level I knew it was on false pretenses. Remarkably, these issues continued on through my 11th grade year.

While I was searching for my authentic voice the pressure became unbearable and I inappropriately ran off from my dad in my junior year. My dad responded by digging in and committing to my brother and me that we would get through this no matter what. My Dad showed unbelievable courage and determination.

During this time, I ran to a less caring environment. I was committed to testing the water and seeing if I could make decisions on my own. Over the course of the year what I realized was that no matter how many people were on one side; all I truly needed was the one person who genuinely loved and cared for me and that was my father. The courage my dad exhibited guided me to become courageous myself. I witnessed my father hold his ground while people from all over turned against him. When pressure mounted against him he kept his composure and most importantly maintained his commitment to my brother and I. My dad’s example provided an amazing learning experience. His legacy is one I am glad to follow.

I learned that doing the right thing is not always the easy thing. Sometimes doing the right thing means going against the majority. This past year, when jealous friends unfairly ganged up a friend of mine, I was able to stand up for her when no one else would because I knew she did not deserve that treatment. Additionally, my experience at Outward Bound this summer, where I faced and overcame physical and emotional obstacles, helped me to develop new courage and confidence. And finally, I recognized my dad was right and stood up to my extended family and mother.

Today I am standing on my own two feet. I have grown to make authentic decisions that are for my best interests. I have developed the character and courage to see right from wrong. Today I am fearless.

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