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A Lost Explorer

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The plane left the ground and all I could do is look outside its window and think, "I'm among the clouds...” I thought of what I was leaving behind, my country, my friends and my family. I was headed towards The United States. I had never been on a plane nor dreamed of leaving Peru and everything happened so quickly, but I kept my cool. I was scared yet excited, new things were to come, but what? Because you don’t know what’s expected, I was blindly being led into the unknown. As a kid your life is controlled by adults, I was aware, my senses acute of that fact. All I longed for, again and again was seeing the face of my parents once more. This was literally a change in my life, a new randomly thrown at me-chapter of my life. I was just ten years old, somewhat aware of the world around me, somewhat not. My small mind knew only of my country, my world was about to be expanded and I didn’t know it yet. Through all this unexpectedness, I discovered who I was to become.

The plane had landed and I exited the airport, I looked around, there they were awaiting my arrival. My mother began crying tears of joy and when I looked at my fathers eyes, they seemed to be shaking. Then and there he smiled a smile of contentment, of satisfaction; they were ready to take me to my new home. I saw so many large buildings on my way there, it made me feel so small. I was in awe, this wasn't at all what I thought it would be, “Not at all like the movies I saw...” I thought. I became a small mind in a big place.

I was always mature for my age, sometimes my cousins and even my mom would come talk to me, asking me for advice. It didn't matter that I was in an unknown place. I had always occupied loneliness with exploration. Being in a new place wasn't a set back, its what I call, and unexplored opportunity.
I loved to observe, to walk, embark on tiny explorations of the world that surrounded me. I kept imagination as a friend as I examined merchants, buildings, and the people of Peru. I began doing this when I was just 7 years old and continued on until I left my country. My parents were always wondering where I was, what they didn't know is that I was secretly an explorer. And now here I was, in a new place, and I felt so overwhelmed. Everything was so new, new language, strange customs, new people, it hit me so quickly, I was unable to respond.

They were surprised, “Who is this Kid?” and the teacher, in a tone of amazement, “V-Very good Diego!”. I answered all the basic algebraic questions set on the blackboard, this was too easy for me.
It turned out that learning English in basically three months was impressive, as I was already speaking English by the end of my 5th grade year. Then 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and now 12th grade, so many years had passed for this explorer. It wasn't until my 11th grade year that I began a metamorphosis, the time were I slowly began to discover myself again. In the span of eight years, the great student that I was, the person that I was, I lost steadily in this new trek. Each step forward became a step backwards. I altered to that person with so much potential but no drive whatsoever. I had lost myself here, no map, and it was all my fault. But I could never leave my own destiny to pure chance, I decided to find myself again. Instill the drive that I lost, and I began to awaken after a long slumber.


Everything touched by time changes , and then out of nowhere it decided to hit me in the face with a shovel. Eight years had passed, yet it it took six years for me to come to a realization, and epiphany of a unique sort.
High School presented so many opportunities for me, one of them was a choice to enter AFJROTC( Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps). This mouthful of an organization drilled in me Discipline, Leadership, Responsibility, and Accountability for my actions. I joined in my tenth grade year, and tried to escape the next year. Somehow I could never leave, for even this year, my 12th grade year, I once again planned my escape. It was as if somewhere buried inside, I knew I wouldn't leave, I simply couldn't. I had to finish what I started, I had to complete all my years there; so far its been the best decision of my life. But it wasn't just that, it was my friends who showed me the joys of being alive, to enjoy life to the fullest, and learn and grow, discover and explore. Now I’m cognizant of the fact that I never lost myself, I only misplaced myself. And so just as I thought, leaving my country and my countrymen behind wasn't a set back. It was an opportunity waiting to be explored, a journey to rediscovery.





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