Each time I look in the mirror today, I am deeply humbled as I remember the struggles I have had to deal with while growing up. I am the only child born to a single mother who experienced a rollercoaster of emotions as she hard to toil through thick and thin to make ends meet. Despite the hardships, my strong will and determination kept me going even when things got tough. I always had faith that one day, I would find the right path. There is no one time that I had doubts about what I wanted to achieve. I knew that I was sorely responsible for that life that I aspired to live.

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Since childhood, I have had a hunger for knowledge, not only from books but also from people who have made it in life amidst challenges. I have always yearned to learn from people who have risen from rags to riches. These people are the ones who can afford to sit and smile with you even at your lowest levels of poverty. Furthermore, these are the people who, even without knowing you, greet you and chat with you as if though they have known you for years. Nothing, not even poverty, was exempt from the desire to break free of limitation that circumstances had put me through. Today, I am free indeed, and not even the chaotic days and the most shocking moments of my childhood have been tattooed in my memories.

Today, I have developed a bubbly personality, and I can strongly and boastfully say I have overcome. However, it does not mean that I do not face challenges, but I have developed a heart as strong as a lion. Of course, every one of us has had a bad moment. Whatever the bad moment might be, I have developed my ways of getting rid of the bad thought from my mind. During such moments, I always think of a perfect place that can make me smile just by thinking about it. My perfect haven has always been my mothers’ hometown. While there, I can go fishing in the nearby lake with thousands of fish. I can also visit the farms where workers spend endless hours working, just to name a few.

There are people that I hold extremely dear to me as they bring light to my life. One is my mother while the other is my sister. When I look back through my childhood eyes, I can still vividly see my mother as she run up and down to provide for me and my sister. What she did back then was beyond your understanding. Outwardly, she was a mother doing what any other mother did. She was always as busy as a bee, as she handled about three different jobs in a day with no time to rest.

Beyond that, my mother was totally different from other mothers of her days, but I sometimes could not understand or even appreciate the small gifts that she bought us. Today, I understand, and I hope it is never too late to tell beloved mother ‘thank you,’ as she planted a seed of wisdom in me. I am indeed humbled as I can now see the enormity that she went through to raise us up to who and where we are today. I remember how I overheard our neighbors discussing our financial situations back then, and tears fill my eyes. However, I am grateful that our mother taught us about spirituality, appreciation, and morality.

Out of my deep association with my beloved mother and sister, I have learned a lesson that can never be taught in any school. That is the greatest legacy that I shall endeavor to pass on the next generations. My mother always told us that beauty is everywhere as long as we have eyes to see and that its appreciation ought not to increase depending on how much money we have in our pockets. She is indeed as strong as an ox. She portrays a perfect example of beauty, heroism, faith, hope, courage and ongoing quest for persistence. Another lesson I have learned from her is always to remain courageous and determined despite the situation, as no situation is permanent.

In conclusion, my life has been quite dramatic. It is through my mother’s courage and fortitude that I stand tall before you, proud and independent. I have learned that when one holds fast to his or her principles despite the overwhelming odds, that person must be victorious.