I Believe in the Power of Disappointment


Desire is the emotion that compelled me to go against authority. It was the feeling that drove me to crave power over some particular things: power over Macy's and power over unsatisfied cravings. This desire was sparked by a designer Betsey Johnson necklace.

In high school, my group of friends consisted of eight athletic, popular girls. Eleventh grade was our year of rebellion. We spent that year trying to find ourselves by pushing back against authority, all while working to keep our title of superiority. Our favorite way to achieve this was through stealing.

Playing field hockey and softball always gave me an adrenaline rush. I also had a special bond with my dad through sports because he came to all my games and would practice with me anytime I needed. I used to think that the rush I got from competing was similar to the rush I got from stealing, but I realized that they were different. When I was stealing, I felt like I was overcoming authority and being rebellious; it was much more powerful and thrilling than sports.

One day as I was walking through Macy's, I spotted a designer Betsy Johnson necklace. After scoping it out once or twice, I knew I had to have it. Craving excitement, I snagged it from the rack and dropped it inside my purse. I quickly evacuated, and almost immediately realized I had been caught because, when I turned to leave, security women were running towards me flashing their badges.

It was not until after my attempt to steal the necklace that I thought of someone other than myself or what I wanted. When my mom picked me up, after being called by the Macy's security, she didn't say a word the whole car ride home. All I kept thinking about was the punishment I would get when the silence broke.

When my parents sat me down, I realized that my friends, the popularity, and the adrenaline rush, were not worth the shame I felt. Disapproval spread over me. The worst part was realizing that my actions caused the people I love to hurt.

My dad is a hard working man that rarely gets upset or emotional. I saw him cry for the first time after I was caught stealing. Seeing my parents disappointment was the worst punishment possible- far greater than the punishment of not being allowed to go to the Winter Formal. It was at this moment that I learned I never wanted to feel this way again. I didn't want my parents to blame themselves for raising me wrong.

I believe in the power of disappointment. It is the power to experience by learning the hard way. I discovered that I have the strength to make my own decisions instead of just following my peers. I realized that I want to be a person my parents can be proud to have raised. Disappointment taught me these invaluable lessons.

Kelly Hamilton

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