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Life is not the end and there is time for me to change my future - by M.H.

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My Pillar(s) of Strength

'N' Level student-inmate from institution A2

Consolation Prize

            In life, everybody and everything needs a pillar of strength to stand tall and to move on when life is pushing hard on us. Everyone living in this world would agree with me. Don’t you?

I had such a rollercoaster life, which I had met mostly on the downside of the ride. I started smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol when I was only Secondary Three. As I grew older, I started to mix friends from the secret society gang and even venture on trying drugs. Life was so wonderful that I had not worry about my future.

Eventually, I met someone who I thought she would be the companion of my life. You see, she was actually a single mother and was trying hard to meet ends and I really love and care about her and her child. So, there is a time where we were actually broke, we can’t even afford to buy milk for her children. That was when I decided to save the day but it was actually the day that we were separated for good.

It was on one Saturday evening. After thinking so hard, I decided to work for the money lender which I had earn $150 for a house to throw red paint on the door. O, the so-called companion of my life, tried to prevent me but after some deliberation, she finally gave in and I went and tried to save the day.

My job is to vandalise the wall by writing ‘O$P$’ at the nearest wall of the resident unit with a marker then throw the red paint on the door.

I was nervous actually because it was my first time I’m doing it. It was easy and I did it like a breeze. However, I was surprised by someone who was shouting at me and I ran my lungs out. The man kept chasing me and asked me to stop. Unfortunately, I tripped and fell down hard on the ground. The furious man pinned me down and told me to stay silent and one of the neighbours came out and called the police. This is where I discovered my pillars of strength.

Subsequently, I was sentenced for three years and O left me while I was incarcerated. I felt my whole life was crashing down. I received prescriptive sleeping medicine from the doctor and hopefully with this medication, my days would pass by until I release from prison. Honestly, my relationship with my family had soured before I came in and they did not come and visit me.

I have an older brother who is a year older than me. I was so surprised when he came and visited me suddenly. We talked, cried and the most important thing was that he motivates. He told me that life is not the end and there is time for me to change my future.

Seeing him as my pillar of strength, I decided to pursue my study and took my ‘N’ levels. Every time when I was down and about to give up, I would think about him and study hard.

Finally, all my hard work paid off and I was grateful that my brother was and will always be there to support me. Eventually, I scored grade 2 for my Maths, Combined Science and Principal of Account and grade 5 for my English. He said that my results are not bad for someone who had not studied for years. I was happy to make him proud. My parents also started to come and visit me and they told me that they never given up on me. With the small added strength, I decided to pursue my ‘O’ levels and I believe with these added pillars of strength in my life, I can succeed.

            There is a saying “It is not how you fall, but how you rise after the fall that matters” said by ‘Smoking’ Joe Frazier. So, with this mantra, I hope anyone who is about to give up will bounce back and give your life another chance.

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