Past Choices = Present Self

Psychology tells us that a lot of who we are today is due to our childhood upbringing, but I dare to challenge that. Yes, a lot stems from the things you were put through as a child. However, I also believe that you can take that even further and say that a lot of who you are stems from the way you chose to deal with those challenges. Whether it was to rebel, use drugs , participate in underage drinking, excel in school, or even attend church.
As a child and teenager I had to overcome multiple obstacles. Some of these obstacles were growing up without a father, having multiple alcoholics in my family, dealing with my mothers drug addiction and having the odds against me throughout school. I come from a family where you are born, go to school, have kids by the age of 18, and settle down with whatever job you can get without a college degree. I saw my mother work three jobs at a time to support my sister and I before she got caught up in drugs. I chose to deal with these trials in various ways, from binge drinking and partying to attending church. These two coping mechanisms are obviously very very different and they also gave very different outcomes. However, the way I chose to deal with the difficulties I was faced with was what made me who I am today. The way I treat people, the way people view me, and the way I act in all aspects of my life reflect those choices.
What is the point of sharing this, you may ask? Well the point is you have choices everyday. Some of your choices will be bad, you’re human. BUT if you remind yourself before you make those choices that your past choices shaped you into the person you are then maybe you will decide to chose otherwise. This is where reflection comes into play. All it takes is for you to pause, take one minute to think about the choices you have and the direction you want your life to go. The impact of just one choice may surprise you years down the road. Chose wisely because the state of your future self, quite literally, depends on it. 
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost

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