When asked the question “What does the Good Life mean?” most Americans would answer with stability, wealth, and love. The good life to me would be a family, nice house, being financially stable, and having a balance between work and home. These values are what we consider important in our lives as they create joy, happiness, and satisfaction. One learns or comes about these values through experience and environment-including peers, family members, teachers, and friends. Throughout my life so far I’ve developed many values mainly through my parents and experiences so far. My most important values include family, balance, and steadiness/stability.
I consider family as very important and my main core value in life. Everything I think and do revolves around my family along with everything I have done, I took my family into consideration. After giving it some thought, one significant event that occurred years ago may have greatly stapled family as vital in my life. I grew up living with my grandparents and my mom. It was just us until she met who would later become my father. After my brother was born and the wedding in 2007, I began commenting on the fact that I was the only one with a different last name. I remember begging for years to make a change. Of course, due to my age, I had no clue how much trouble the process would be-it was long and expensive. Between deployments not long after, we began the journey and process. On Thanksgiving morning of 2012, during his deployment, we skyped as normal but it became more than a normal video call. The adoption had been declared official. This situation and event has influenced my personal values. One of my greatest desires is for my children to feel the same way about family that I do. Today I would not be who I am without every member of my family supporting me and making sacrifices. Some may say because of family we make too many sacrifices, including money and time.
Throughout the years, my parents told me to do my best at everything I do and to have fun while doing those activities, thus planting balance into my life. Because I didn’t work throughout high school, my parents would always say “school is your work” and “school comes first”. They definitely made sure to remind me to have fun while working hard. When it came to school I pushed myself to get the grades I wanted and knew my parents were expecting. No, I wasn’t a straight “A” student; however, all my grades were “A’s” and “B’s”. I was inducted into the national honor society, along with my school’s Fin-esse society (another honor society yet with higher qualifications). I graduated summa-cum laude with a 4.2 GPA, along with already finished college classes. I walked across the stage with many medals from all of my accomplishments. I succeeded all this while at the same time balancing my extracurricular activities and time with friends. Along with school, I was involved in numerous sports and activities. My participation was in the marching, concert, and jazz bands. In these bands I was first saxophone and section leader. I played softball and lifted for my weightlifting team. My point is that while having fun within these groups, I balanced successes and hard work. In the future, because I know happiness doesn’t come free, I need the ability to balance home life with work life. One may say living with this value means not living up to one’s full potential because your full focus isn’t on succeeding.
Steadiness and stability is the ability to stand strong and endure change either good or bad. I know I can’t control everything that is thrown at me. Life is beyond our control. Life is never free from disruption or frustrations. Life throws curveballs every now and then like a pitcher in baseball. Thinking about this makes me remember growing up as a military child. Deployment is rather hard on couples let alone children. The parent is gone for long stretches of time-mine typically nine months out of the year. Sometimes one’s deployment could even be extended. Every couple of years we would be moved somewhere new. Switching schools constantly, making new friends, moving and doing it all over again. I know change. Watching my family deal with sudden changes-such as those above-really has made a significance in my life. I want the strength to face the ever-changing flow of life as I know change-no matter what we do-will befall. Some say those who are described as stable can be sensitive when it comes to criticism and they have a hard time saying “No”.
Overall, we all value at least one thing in life whether we know it or not. My main values reflect who I am today. Understanding your own personal values allows you to understand yourself better.