My Physical and Mental Development Essay Example

Throughout this essay, I will be discussing a time in my life during which I began to take shape as a person. The majority of this narrative is a disgustingly cringe-worthy collection of memories stemming from previously unreleased teen angst. I would like to preface this text by stating that I understand that there are far worse things that could have happened to me and that there have been far worse things that have happened to other people. Should the subject of this essay ever happen upon these words, know that I love you, know that I appreciate the things you have done for me, but know that I am extremely resentful of the power of your language.

Getting to the point, twelve years marked a time of many changes in my life. During this year, I began to physically and mentally grow and develop faster than I had previously. My voice deepened, dark hairs began to take root on my face, and little red dots developed across my body. The rest of my life must have taken notice to developments my body had been making and, presumably feeling inadequate, decided to keep pace in terms of change. Twelve years old was the year that I had held my then-infant brother Dominic in my arms for the first time. My other brother, Sebastian, began to distinguish himself as a stellar student, going as far as to skip several grades in math. My sister, Stefania, joined the swim team and began to show real potential as an athlete for the first time in her young life. The teachers throughout my community, lead in part by the Vice President of the Teacher’s Union, my father, went on strike after disagreements on a contract could not be settled. Despite all of these incredible developments, there was one change that would impact me in far greater measure.

At the same time as the stress of the strike and the arduous tasks of raising yet another child had mentally exhausted him, my father began to develop sharp pains in his feet. These pains seemed, to myself, unimportant, and while I felt bad for my father, I paid very little mind to what he was feeling physically and emotionally. Gradually, his pain increased, and with every increase in pain so to did his temper. The solution which he discovered for this ailment was the warm, nerve-numbing cure-all known broadly as liquor. Thusly, from this point forward, whenever I saw my father he would either be infuriated, intolerable, or inebriated. During all these states, my father would relay words to me which I am yet able to remove from my mind. At the most minor of errors, my father would erupt in insult, classifying me as “worthless” or “a disappointment,” and berating me with long-winded speeches about the pathetic nature of myself. These words gave me greater pain than any cut or broken bone that I had experienced before. For as long as I was able, I would remain as unphased as possible in front of my father, often unsuccessfully. After he eventually stormed out of the room, I would sprint with the speed of a hormonally troubled cheetah as far away from anyone who could see how his words and actions made me feel as I could. Such occurrences would continue to happen with increasing frequency. After each episode, I would think more and more about the things he would say. I grew a strange and, retrospectively, slightly unhealthy obsession in making my father proud of me. There was nothing that I would not do to gain his coveted approval. The insults and scorn would stew inside my psyche until they eventually became the main course of a newly adopted ambition. I did not know it at the time, but these words would shape my life all the way to VMI.

When the time came to look at colleges some years later, my father asked me if I would have any interest in pursuing a career in the armed forces. I did not. I wanted to study astrophysics because my then-fourteen-year-old mind thought that stars were cool. But I could see in his mannerism that he wanted me to say yes to the question. So rather than tell the truth, I lied. I told him that I would want nothing more than to attend a military college and pursue a career in the Army. The result of this would see me sitting on the fourth floor of a building in the small town of Lexington, Virginia with a shaved head and four new and close friends, listening to a guitar and inhaling the scent of Mother’s as I viscerally shine seemingly frivolous fragments of metal and leather in the hopes of impressing a group of people aging only one year older than me, yet seemingly godlike in nature.

These words which my father would say to me so often in my adolescent life would go on to shape who I am as a man in nearly every aspect. Even after more than seven years, all of my goals and aspirations have been a result of what my father had said to me during the days of my adolescence. The power which his words have held over my person has caused me to do think which I did not previously believe that I would ever consider doing. My collegiate decision, my future career, and my general attitude towards life has all been altered by the words which were said to me. Such conveys the power of these words. Powerful enough to shape the entire life of an individual. Powerful enough to linger in an individual’s mind for a lifetime. Powerful enough to warrant the creation of an essay.

Amidst all of these emotions which my pubescent self poorly grappled with, I was able to learn many things. I learned about the power that words can have over people. I learned about the importance of building someone up rather than tearing them down. I learned the important lesson of extreme discipline around superiors (a skill that has served me well thus far as a student at VMI). More than anything else, I learned to find strength in myself. I learned that the only person that can affect how I feel is me. The path which I have chosen to carry my life down may not have been the one I initially wanted, but I will not see to it that make the most of the immense opportunities which I have at my disposal. Not for the approval and praise of my father, but for the continued happiness of myself.


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