When a person is born there is a really no end to the learning that occurs from that point forward. There are the learning basics that occur from birth to about eleven years old but after that it’s mostly just learning on your own. Parents do what they can to lead us in the right direction but ultimately it is our own decisions that determine the path of our lives. In my lifetime I personally have made a lot of mistakes and have learned a lot of lessons over the years. Most of those lessons have been learned when I entered my teenage years when I sort of rebelled and worked to find myself.I guess you could say that I had to work extra hard in order to become comfortable in my own skin over the years. I’m really lucky that I have my best friend and my family who cares about me and steer me in the right direction when my life turns sideways.

Some people are not as lucky as I have seen all too often in my old group of friends and they seem to be running on a treadmill and going nowhere fast. In order for this particular assignment to be most effective in its entirety, I feel I am forced to be completely honest in this paper and spill my regrets and overall learning experiences.My first important learning experience occurred when I was thirteen years old. I had a best friend named Michelle and she turned me on to stealing.

We would go to the mall or to the Market Place and rip the sensors off of clothes we wanted. It almost felt like I was addicted to that instant satisfaction. In the past couple months before we had been slowly getting into more and more trouble. We were experimenting with cigarettes, stealing from stores, and sneaking out to party; all of which went with the movie Thirteen with Nikki Reed and Evan Rachael Wood.Michelle and I were bored one day at my house by the Market Place and walked to Target to get that same movie. That day really changed my life when Michelle and I were caught stealing the DVD Thirteen.

We had to wait in the manager’s office while the security guard showed us the tape of us stealing. By some luck, Michelle’s mother works with the police and they didn’t press charges but that didn’t mean that my dad didn’t almost kill me. I respect my dad and what he thinks and that lesson really changed my life for the better.Because of that incident I was not allowed to see or spend time with my best friend which caused me to stop all of that immature behavior. It affected me so much that I have not even thought twice about shoplifting again. It made me rethink my actions and my behaviors and basically set my life straight again.

While almost all of my friends continued to smoke I stopped before I became hooked, while everyone else continuously got in trouble for car jacking and stealing, I buy everything I want with the money I work for, and while I have continued to party I have also learned how to do it responsibly.Partying responsibly has been a lesson that has had to have been learned time and time again. From hangovers to trouble with the law, I still was not able to get the dangers of alcohol through my head. I took mandatory alcohol classes and had numerous fender benders and I still could not fathom the idea that alcohol was the problem. What absolutely flipped my life upside down was the DUI I received last year on December 23rd.

Now that I think back to it, it saved my life. It was the best and worst possible thing that could have ever happened to me.Everyday I am grateful for getting it but wish I wasn’t so stupid to get it in the first place. I learned how precious life is, how lucky I was not to have hurt anyone, what a privilege it is to drive, and the real meaning of friendship. It is crazy the way life can teach a person lessons but this was by far the most influential lesson that could have even happened to anyone.

I don’t understand how anyone could be able to get more than one but I know that alcohol is a serious mind alternator and can affect more than just motor skills. This DUI also showed me the real side of friendship.My best guy friend was driving my car at the time and hopped in the passenger seat as soon as he saw a police car driving the opposite direction. I had known him for years and he promised he was alright to drive and now he was going to put something like this on me? I was shocked to see a whole different side to someone I thought I knew. This was another lesson I had to learn the hard way.

Two years ago I started to work at an upscale shoe store where I met my current best friend who has taught me more about friendship that anyone in my life.I am so grateful to have met someone who has my back and looks out for my best interest. I feel as if we are a team rather than a couple of girls competing for attention. My best guy friend showed me his true colors that night I took a DUI for him and I now know that a real friend would take responsibility for their actions and they would not even drive intoxicated. I am really lucky to have found a friend that has taught me the real meaning of friendship and we have continued to love and respect each other even after fights, brawls, hurt feelings, and living in different cities.I think the key to a good relationship is mutual respect and honesty and that I think is the biggest lesson I could ever learn.

I will be able to apply that to a future boyfriend or husband and know that it will last. Those three lessons have made me who I am today and I continue to learn and make mistakes as I go through life. I have grown up in the past year and have matured more than ever and know my mistakes will decrease with time but I am working on becoming a better person and thinking before making any risky decisions.


I'm Erica!

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