The Teacher Who Changed My Life: A Mini-Memoir

Samantha White
By Samantha White

They say people are like seasons. They enter and exit your life with a certain purpose and then move on to make room for others. This is quite true and particularly relevant for the teachers in one’s life.

I have had countless teachers in my life. Some good, some not so good. Some concerned about my well-being and development and others who couldn’t care less. There is one that
stands out among all of them, continues to be a mentor and source of inspiration, and my go-to person in times of crisis. That person is my only elder sister, Cecil. This story is about her, how she transformed me as a person and played (and continues to play) a pivotal role in all my successes and in bringing all the positivity that directly influenced my perceptions of life.

I was a shy and quiet kid at school, always low on confidence, which eventually defined my personality as an introvert with very low self-esteem. I was afraid to ask questions in classrooms and hesitant to interact among my colleagues at school. Public speaking gave me shivers. This overall behavior creeped into my personal life, and I was perceived as a loner in my family.

Cecil made me feel alive
Schoolteachers and family taunted me and gave negative comments, which never helped. The only person who was quietly observing me all this time was Cecil. She watched me with a loving smile. The vibes I got from her were welcoming when I was too scared to approach anyone for help. She sensed that and made a point to talk to me or stay close to me. We hung out after school, watched movies, cooked dinners, and went to outdoor activities on her insistence. For the first time in my life, I felt I was alive with feelings and emotions. I was happy to have this person in my life who was more than just a sister, a person who was endeavoring to understand me and give me time, space, and confidence to come out of my shell.

She made me realize that every human has imperfections, and that it’s perfectly fine to be imperfect. All we can do (and must do) is to give our best shot in whatever we do and justify our existence in life. She showed me how to kick start conversations and then keep them going.

She taught me to take baby steps in everything I found difficult. Once I started doing that, one thing led to another and I started seeing changes in myself. People noticed the new me. I was pleasantly surprised with such amazing changes. I wasn’t holding back anymore. I was clear and certain in my thoughts, decisions or questions. She transformed me and that would hold me in good stead for the rest of my life. This is the comfort and self-belief I got.

Cecil showed me the value of reading and writing
My sister became my best friend, confidante and a trusted advisor. She used her knowledge and experience in life (she is a lawyer by profession) to give me practical examples of how to conduct myself in a given situation or even objectively, as in how would a reasonable person act or react in given circumstances. That really put things into context and I was able to analyze and interpret situations according to subjective and objective standards.

She instilled in me the habit of reading and writing. She said the possibilities are endless once you master the art of reading and writing. You do that by thinking about what you read, bouncing off ideas with like-minded people, eventually putting it all on paper so you can assess the facts and test the assumption, then make an informed decision or give a comprehensive and accurate opinion on a given subject.

She talked about little things in life that we take for granted such as our physical health and relationships, which actually matter the most.

All of us are different. Sometimes we need a special person to look through us and figure out what help we need and how we will get it. In my case, it was a matter of reinforcing the positive behavior that existed in me and providing moral support and confidence in my abilities. All of this came from Cecil.

Samantha White is a cat addict and a freelance writer at You can find her on Twitter,

Photo courtesy Samantha White 

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  1. Wow, Samantha! What a beautifully written story! Right away I come to love Cecil and wish I had been such an encourager to others along the way.

    I love that you brought out clearly it was the "little things" that made a big difference in your life. Our glances, smiles-or our frowns-tell much to those around us. You are to be commended as well for following her direction in your life.

    Your mini-memoir is really a story of two beautiful ladies! Blessings to you as you continue to write and encourage others.

    1. Thank you so much, Susie, for your kind words! They mean so much to me! I'm really happy to share my thoughts with you. Cecil's my angel:) I owe everything to her.
      I will definitely continue following my creative path of writing. The latter is my air that I inhale with awe and gratitude to the Lord.