Chrystal Slowley’s eportfolio


Chrystal Slowley

March 25, 2015

Personal Narrative Final Draft

From Sorrow to Soundness

      “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” according to Forrest Gump, 1994.  Many times, people go through life not knowing the strength they have to endure its toils. I for one wasn’t aware of, nor did I want to face, the harsh things life had to offer. However, strength is the sign of a struggle overcome by surrendering to the things you fear most. Experiencing illness, loss, and struggling to find my path in life during my senior year in high school helped me to realize my own strengths and prepared me for the next step in my life.

I found out I was ill two weeks before I began my senior year in high school. I had been feeling some pain near my coccyx, but I initially didn’t pay it any mind, and I didn’t tell anyone. It wasn’t until the pain became severe that I spoke to my mom about it. For days, it was hard for me to lie down, stand up, or sit without being in horrible discomfort, both physically and emotionally. When I went to the doctor, I found out I had an infected pouch of fluid sitting near my coccyx, and I immediately needed to get it removed. Before that moment, I had never undergone any surgical procedure and I was completely terrified. That pouch of fluid was actually a detriment to my life. Had I continued to ignore the pain, it would’ve done some irreparable damage, and I wouldn’t be here. Luckily, the doctor removed it successfully, but he left behind the shock of me almost losing my life.

I lost my friend Tianna a month later. She was the sweetest humblest spirit you would ever come across, but she was asthmatic, and it became serious the night she passed. All I remember is waking up early, getting dressed for school, and getting a call that she had passed. At first, there were no answers as to how or why. All I knew was that it was asthma, and she wasn’t coming back. I could hardly fathom how to feel or what to think, I wasn’t ready to face that reality; I had never lost anyone close. I wasn’t able to focus in school, which was normally something I did well, and although I was recovering from the surgery, I couldn’t see how I was going to recover from the terrible loss and fear I had just experienced.

I struggled to find my path in life, after all that had transpired in just the first three months of school. I had to be responsible for two advanced placement classes and exams, make sure I got into a good college for my career goals, and make sure my grades were up to par, if not, excellent. Needless to say, I had to mature drastically in less than six months. Yet, my mind was still in the clouds and still grieving. I had just stopped going to school for days at a time. I had no ambition and no clarity on who I was and how to take back the reigns of my life. Luckily I had friends and family that wanted to support me in my time of recovery and grief, but I couldn’t support myself. Eventually I tried to put my fist to the pavement and get college in perspective, but no letters were coming through. I had only received a financial aid package and a waitlist letter from the college to which I so desperately wanted to go. One of my friends got accepted, and that gave me such high hopes, but the bad choices I had made during that year showed in my grades. The college representative didn’t think I was ready, and there I was once again, lost, clueless, and grieving. Despite this, I knew that it was all for a reason, so I didn’t stop even when it seemed like the last minute. Two days before college classes were to commence, I got accepted into New York City College of Technology. That was the spark of hope that I needed.

Although I was uncertain I would bounce back from the loss and bad decisions I had made, I realized that life had something better in store for me, and I submitted to that plan. It took months of grief and self-doubt to help me realize that I could make it, but eventually I started to see that all I had to do was make the next step for myself. It was the greatest decision I could have ever made. That point in my life is still something hard to look back on, but it made me so much stronger. I watched myself struggle to rise to the occasion, but I did it and that was the biggest accomplishment of my life thus far.