It Goes On

Mimi Nguyen, Editor

July 12, 2016.

     The sun was shining, birds were chirping, and the atmosphere was calm. The house felt alive. Not in the sense of literally being alive, but alive because of the people that occupied it. For ten years, the same family of six had been living in that cozy, two-story house, where memories were made and events had occurred. The same routines took place, where Monday mornings were slow and Friday nights were not quiet. On this particular summer day however, it was different for a significant reason. In this point of time, the daily tasks the family were completing would be their last at that house. Today was a big day- an end of an old cycle and the start of a new one.

     Around noon time, every member finished up their final duties. Suitcases and boxes were packed and carry-ons were put together by the door. Windows were closed and locked, curtains were shut. It was almost time to go. After locking the door for the last time, everyone made their ways to the cars. Those cars would lead them to their next destination: the airport.

     Fast-forward about an hour later, the airport was bustling with people rushing everywhere. Some were running to catch their flight, some reuniting with friends and family, some heading to the restroom, and some picking up their luggage. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing and where they were headed. The family went to the numbered floor, where their first plane of two would fly to the next airport. Some friends of the children had decided to go to the airport as well, to bid final farewells. When it was time to leave, gifts were exchanged and tight hugs were given. Tears were shed, followed by laughs to cover up the sadness. Next, the family went through security and made sure they all had their carry-ons. They slowly walked to their gate, not once looking back at the friends and family that were watching. On the plane, they buckled in their seatbelts and settled down. From that point forward, everything would be different in some way for each member. Their lives would change, literally.

     This scenario happens to families all over the world. Everyday, people are moving to new places to start anew for different reasons. For my family, it was from Springfield, Massachusetts to Sacramento, California. It has been two years now, though it feels like a lot more. In those years I’ve learned and grew, loved and lost, you name it. The whole experience was eventful and memorable of course. I still remember this day clearly and often think about it when I’m reminiscing the memories from my childhood. This was the most substantial event that has happened in my life so far. It has affected me in the most vast way anything ever has in my seventeen years of living.

     Anyways, back to the flight. I remember I checked my phone before the plane was going to depart, leading to a waterfall of tears on my tiny phone-screen. Messages were flooded in my notifications, from all of my friends and family back in my hometown. Up until this time, the idea of moving sounded exciting and I waited eagerly for the day to come. I had family in California who I haven’t seen for years. I reassured my friends that I would come visit within a year, but since then I have not been back. The feeling of eagerness was replaced with dread. I didn’t want to start over again, I didn’t want to adjust to the new neighborhood, new school, and everything that would come my way while I was in the town that I would call my next “home” that was located on the other side of the country.

     Reuniting with my family was great. Everyone was welcoming and happy tears were shed. Things were going well, or so it seemed. There was a feeling I had that I couldn’t clearly figure out, and it left me questioning for quite some time.

     A couple weeks went by before it was time to go to another new dreaded place: school. I never thought meeting new people was easy. It’s still a bit of a struggle for me now, because I’m very shy and introverted when it comes to conversing with unfamiliar people. Since I moved to River City my sophomore year, everyone else already knew each other from their freshman year while the friends I made freshman year were in Massachusetts. That year I made a couple friends, but they didn’t last as long as I would’ve hoped. I joined a couple clubs but did not become close with any of my peers, merely for the reason that it took a lot for me to open myself up to another person. Sophomore year was dull overall, but I was used to finding my way around by the end.

     Junior year was my downfall of high school, not because my classes were hard (although I took three AP classes) but because I had almost no motivation to keep up in my academics. I let myself dwell on an event that had happened and blamed myself for all of it. I regret it deeply and think about what I should’ve done instead. That year made me realize that time is running out to figure where I’m headed in the future, but at that time, I didn’t believe in myself and my potential to succeed. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life after high school. I had a couple careers in mind, but didn’t know which one I was passionate in and want to put effort in towards achieving. Summer break was great and I made many memories with new people and my family. I was excited for senior year to begin.

     My last year of high school began on a good note. My classes were fine for the most part, but that same feeling I had when I first moved still did not go away. For some period of time, I did not like getting out of my bed and start the day. Instead of looking forward for the next day, I thought of it as days I had to go through. Everyday was the same as the one before.

     One day sometime in October, on a day where I felt the lowest of the low, I decided to reach out to one of my teachers. She then contacted my counselor, who contacted a counseling service that came to the school to speak to other students who may be going through some of their own complications. I ended up scheduling a session every week here at the school. After my first counseling session, I felt uneasy and unsure about how the next ten weeks were going to turn out because I wasn’t used to telling others about my problems and concerns. I was usually the one to listen to people’s vents and rants. As weeks went by, I slowly became comfortable having conversations with my counselor. She was patient with what I wanted to share and what I wanted to wait before telling. My last session was in December and looking back on how I was at the beginning, my mindset has become more positive and I felt stronger as a person. I thought of new days as chances to reflect on the ones before.   

     Moving took a toll on me because it wasn’t how I expected. It was difficult for me get used to the new environment, new school, and new life. There would be times where I spent quality time with family and enjoyed being in the happy moments, but for the most part I spent nights in a row feeling sad and down. I couldn’t make new friends simply for the reason that I didn’t feel good enough to fit into others’ standards and didn’t try to bring myself out of my own bubble because I was scared of not being good enough.

     I’ve learned to look on the brighter side of things instead of holding myself back from treating myself well. The young woman I was a two years ago from today has definitely improved and I am proud of myself for not giving up. I accepted the fact that there will be circumstances throughout my life that I can’t control, but the way I move on and react is up to me. I’ve learned to be there for those who are there for me and appreciate everything I have in my life right now. I don’t underestimate myself and strive to try, even if sometimes I don’t do as well as I hope, because in the end I know that it’s better to attempt than to never at all.

     Everyone’s lives are different in their own ways, and the events that happen depend on many variables. Unfortunate events may occur, but no one is able to go back in time and change the way things happen. Instead, people are in control of how they react and what they do afterwards. Life won’t always be perfect and content, and it can take days to weeks in order to feel in a better state. Every day, week, month, or year is another start to learn and grow from the past. Focusing on the better aspects and moving on from the pessimistic sides may be difficult, but knowing that there are support systems all over makes situations seem secure to go over the rough patch. No matter what takes place, good or bad, life goes on.