Best of Freshman Writing

Volume 17

Table of Contents


Christopher Young 

Bradley Neighoff 

Chelsea Hafner 

Chelsea Hartzman 

Madelyn Koch 

Kristy Offenback 

Cody Bressler 

Emily Brown 

Ebony Ford 

Steve Hamel 

Daniel MacIntosh 

Chris Watts 

Matt McClure 

Kyley Mickle 

Shatisha Diggs 

Taylor Bury 

Joanna Evans 

Alyssa Gradus 

Cindy MacIntosh 

Abbey Miklitsch

Lisa Morrison

Hailey Schuchart

John Ritenour

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jdm12@psu.edu

Last updateded July 2, 2012.

Ebony Ford
English 15
PSU – Brandywine

Nothing is Guaranteed

French actress, Juliet Binoche, once said, “If you have everything, then you don’t want to go on. It’s the lacking that makes you search for something better.” I have been searching for “something better” for my entire life. There has never been a point in my life when I wasn’t lacking something. For this reason, it would be a personal injustice to choose just one element that I’ve lacked throughout my life when, in fact, each and everything that I’ve lacked has shaped my life. However, there is one lacking element that would sum up my entire life. For as long as I can remember, I have lacked stability; stability being the idea that things, good or bad, might stay the same for an extended period of time, the idea that something, besides change, might be guaranteed for tomorrow or the next day.
    Perhaps it was a life marked by continual change provoked by one negative circumstance after another that caused such lacking. Whatever the case may be, I’ve tried my best to feign optimism in trying times. I continue to live, day by day, knowing that I have never and may never know who my biological father is. Likewise, I’ve lived knowing that my biological mother may never be completely cured of her addictions and yet, lacking these important people hasn’t ruined me. My father’s identity and my mother’s location are ever changing. I may wake up tomorrow and my mother may be in another rehab in an undisclosed location, missing for an unknown amount of time; or there may be new speculations as to who my father really is, but I’ve given up on trying to understand why other kids always had what I never did. Because of my absent parents, I have the uncanny ability to laugh at the worst situations. My unique sense of humor protects me. Without them, I’ve learned to depend on myself for comfort, and that is a skill I wouldn’t give up for anything at all.
    I’ve lived a life marked by financial instability. At ten, I watched my grandmother wither away as a result of lung cancer, and I lost the only caregiver I had ever known. My older sister gained custody of my siblings and me, just as we were losing every single penny we had to funeral cost and hospital bills. There was hardly enough money for food, still my family and I remained strong. We continued to go on and, through turmoil, we learned to remain calm and optimistic. This is a helpful skill when life is plagued by unwarranted misfortunes.
    Throughout my life, I’ve learned that nothing is guaranteed. Teachers and social workers have all commented on how unstable my life has been, but they feel obligated to comment on how well I’ve turned out in the same breath. Through lack of consistency and stability, I have learned to be alert and to expect change. Of course, this has instilled a certain amount of fear in me, but it is the fear of the unexpected that drives me to prepare myself for whatever is to come. Yesterday wasn’t the same as today, and today definitely won’t be the same as tomorrow and although that can be disconcerting at times, the advantage this gives me in foresight is the push I need to attempt to make each day better than the last.


Ebony Ford's essay appears here with her express written permission and cannot be reproduced in any manner or fashion without her express written permission.