Growing up, it was always me picking a fight with Nicole.

I was always the one to get in trouble, and I was always the one to accidentally break something that wasn’t mine.

I was the kid that couldn’t come inside until I had been rinsed off with the water hose. I was always the one to break curfew, and I was always the one to try to argue with mom and dad.

I wouldn’t call it rebellious, and I wouldn’t say I was a bad kid. I was just headstrong.

Some people say, “impulsive.” I say, “I know what I want and am going to get it instead of sitting on my hands and waiting on it to come to me.”

I have always had that attitude, and although it has gotten me in trouble in the past, it has also helped me to reach goals and accomplish a number of things during my 25 years.

I had to learn how to channel that attitude, and that took some time. I haven’t mastered it completely, but I am learning to accept the fact that it is a beautiful combination of defiance and determination.

One day my dad told me that it was a difficult thing to adjust in me because he didn’t want to destroy my sense of determination, but at the same time he didn’t want me to spray paint mom’s gray bicycle purple after he told me not to.

There had to be some balance there, and over the years, and with their help, I think I found it for the most part.

Mom and dad, I didn’t write this so the readers would think you had to raise a hellion, I wrote it to say thank you.

Thank you for always parenting me, thank you for always disciplining me, thank you for teaching me right from wrong, and thank you for not killing my sense of determination by chalking it up to rebellion.

You two saw the determination mixed in with my defiance and kept chipping away at me. Now, I know my limits.

Although I have always known that if it’s something I want to do, then I’m going to do it, but because of your guidance, I know that I can do it.

Kayla Beaty is a staff writer for the Times-Journal.

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