The greatest gift ever given to man is inner determination. It is something all people have and it’s up to them if they grow it like a special flower or leave it to die like a useless weed.

In the 7th grade I decided I want to move, when 8th grade will start, to a different classroom. That was because I no longer wanted to be the first among average results kids, but among the firsts in an out-standing performance classroom. It was my decision. I wanted to prove myself that I can have good results in the best 8th grade in all the school, so my parents agreed to it. In that year, I also started to prepare the exam for high school which we take in Romania at the end of 8thgrade. So, double effort. And because things are not always simple, that was also the year when my parents decided to start their own business, a small one, it’s true, that would make them leave the house around 5:30 in the morning and come back around 9 to 10 in the evening.

So, there I was, almost 14, with an amazing schedule: get up at 6, preparing my younger sister for the kindergarten, dropping my younger brother to my grandmother’s house, going to school. Pick both of them after school, feed them, put them to bed, cleaning the house. In the evening, when my parents returned I would sometimes go to my grandma’s house (only few blocks away) for a sleep over. Well, kind of sleep over.

After all my tasks were done, I would put all my books and notebooks on the kitchen table, turn on my grandfather’s old, old radio and start to study. After one or two hours I would feel my eyes slowly closing and all my body crying for sleep. And sometimes I fell asleep for couple of minutes with my head on my books. And I would struggle and wake up and continue. Night after night, with 4-5 hours of sleep during the “working week”.

The music I have listened to in those nights is still a part of my soul, as it brings me sweet memories. Since with a schedule like that I could not find the time, like other kids of my age, to stick around after school and connect, I had only few friends. So, whenever some nights would feel too much to carry, I would call my books and notebooks by their names: “Study boy” for maths notebook, “The making” for “Anatomy”, “Dreamy” for literature.

will powerYes, it sounds strange to baptise your books and see them as your friends. Yet, I have never felt as an isolated kid due to study or my schedule. In those spring nights, when the delicate smell of blooming lime would perfume the entire kitchen, the smooth sound of a guitar would gently walk from the radio, me and my friends, books and notebooks, would share the same purpose: to achieve our goal. What better allies could I have in this challenge?
At the end of 8th grade, I have gained 2nd prize in the best 8th grade in the school!

I also got accepted to a high school in Bucharest (whilst I lived in a town 60 km from capital), high school which prepared future kindergarten and first grades teachers. That was the reward I was looking for: the pride that I have accomplished what I dreamed about, the happiness that I have exceeded my limits and, in a way, change a predictable future: attend a local high school, get a “regular” job without the possibility of living exciting experiences and meeting unforgettable people. I left home and started a different story that I will tell in another occasion. My parents carried with their business for a short while.

What kept me going during those nights was inner determination. It is a fragile component of human nature, largely sought, often underestimated and in all cases prevailing over any other trait of character. It can be expressed or proven in many forms and various situations. It can be the decision to start something you are afraid you might fail in. It may be the endurance despite very bad experiences in your life. Can take the form of strength to keep moving forward, even when everything seems to crumble around you. Or the persistence in following your dreams, as crazy as they may seem to others. I call it inner determination because all its forms are in fact belonging to something that happens inside of you, as long as you trigger it, you feel it and not as a result of external factors action.

This determination keeps serving me well and thanks to it, I have learned there are only few things I cannot achieve. The story described above has been my first conscious acknowledgment of what I am capable of doing, if I have a strong mind-set, a confident approach and the readiness to struggle for it. And I will keep on talking about this amazing feature we posses, in the hope more and more people will be willing to (re)discover it inside of them and use it to achieve their goals.


Oana RadenauAuthor: Oana Rădeanu
Bio: I am a 35 year old female from Romania and I am in love with writing.
You can find my work here and here

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