A turning point in life

Although I now have a career and a better life, looking back at my
childhood events makes me realize how much my life has changed. Each
individual has massive potential to make a remarkable turning point in
his/her life (Ward 34). It always depends on the opportunity that crops
up and how one exploits it (Ward 34). My life reached a turning point
when I applied for an essay writing competition while in high school.
I was born in a family where the economic situation was not very stable.
The family was made up of my mother and father, as a well as my two
siblings. My father was an alcoholic and barely supported the young
family since he was unemployed. As a result, achieving formal education
alongside other basic needs posed an incredible challenge for me and my
siblings. However, my mother used to do some manual work in order to
educate my siblings and myself through high school. I remember the
presence of my father would send chills down our little bodies as
everyone feared him. On the other hand, it was ironical of him to keep
telling me the benefits of reading and that he would be happy if I
finished my education up to the university level. As the firstborn in
the family, an enormous part of household chores fell on my shoulders
alongside other responsibilities at home. My siblings were literary
under my care. Although most of my time I enjoyed reading books whenever
I got the opportunity, I could not see myself proceeding with the
university education due to poverty in the family. The possibility of
attaining this dream sank even more after my parents separated while I
was still a young girl, after which my mother, two siblings and I had to
relocate to another state and settled with our relatives. Initially,
dropping out of school was inevitable and my mother forced me to do some
volunteer works. Depression almost killed my mother but with time life
had to move on.
While in high school, I knew my dreams of joining the university were
crushed due to lack of fees and kept hoping that one day I would at
least get a sponsor or even be lucky enough to be accepted for a
scholarship. My biggest dream was to join the university and continue
with my education and finally, settle down with a good career.
One day while in the school library, I bumped into an advertisement
about an essay writing competition which had promised an attractive
reward in addition to a University scholarship to the participants.
Immediately I saw this advertisement, my heart leapt with joy and knew
that my life was due to change forever if I participated. I believed in
myself as a good writer and above all writing was my hobby. As a natural
story teller, I often enjoyed the responses I received after narrating
stories to some of my friends and family. Therefore, after briefly
reading the directions on how to go about the competition I felt very
comfortable and prayed that the prize and scholarship will be awarded to
me ultimately. The editors required the entrants of the competition to
write about moving personal experiences that had changed one’s life
forever. I immediately rushed home and started planning on how to
structure the story. Telling the story came naturally for me, and every
word was flowing easily. I could not help feeling as if I was pouring my
soul onto that paper. The writing process was more enjoyable especially
considering that writing had been my hobby for a long time. In essence,
filling the required five pages did not pose a serious challenge for me.
In any case, pouring some details about my life (of course, mixed with
some fictional details) breathed a new life in my soul. On the same
note, this was a competition, and God knows that I really needed the
funds. Even if I got the third position and prize, I undoubtedly could
not have been so badly off.
The waiting period was the hardest for me. This was especially after
learning that some of the people who had entered the competition had
been writing for varied newsletters. Definitely, the chances of winning
the competition or even coming close to the winner seemed to be from
zero to none. However, waiting for the winner to be announced was all
that we could do (or maybe some praying could help, as well). After some
weeks of waiting, the winner of the competition was due to be announced.
I was accompanied by my mother and two siblings to the hall where the
winner was to be announced. All the winners were hopeful of winning the
competition, and, of course, some seemed so sure of winning. I remember
the apprehension that I felt after the name of the person whose essay
ranked the third place was called out. Seeing as I was not the one, I
knew then that my dream had been crushed yet again. I did not even need
to pay attention to the announcement of the second and the first
winners. After the cheers for the essay in the third place died down,
the essay that took second place was announced. Coincidentally, the
writer of that essay had a surname similar to mine. It goes without
saying that millions of butterflies coursed through my tummy. And
finally, the winner of the ultimate prize was announced. I could not
believe my ears when my name was called out. For 16 full seconds, I
could not rise up. The crowd was cheering and my mother had to lift me
up so I could stand and head to receive my prize. Adding to the surprise
was the presence of my dad, not only cheering with the crowd but coming
up to the arena and giving me a bear hug. Suddenly, we were a family all
over again.
This win is still etched in my mind. I am yet to believe or even see how
I could have emerged the winner in such a crowded competition. This
marked the turning point of my life. Of course, the money went a long
way in catering for the needs of my family. However, what makes this the
turning point of my life is the fact that it launched my writing career.
I now had the self esteem to enter into other writing competitions (and
win). In addition, it opened an opportunity for me as a guest writer in
a local magazine, after which I climbed the ladder to become the
assistant editor. Graduating from high school was undoubtedly within my
reach, and the dream of getting to college was not farfetched either.
Even better, worrying about my siblings was behind me as my family was
back together again. Am I always grateful for that opportunity? Your
guess is as good as mine.
Works cited
Ward, Koral. Augenblick: The Concept of the “decisive Moment” in 19th
and 20th Century Western Philosophy. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate
Pub, 2007. Print.
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