The Transition

October 23, 2010
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Everyone and everything goes through a transition. A single thread made into a shirt, a catipillar aging into a butterfly, a child maturing into an adult. But who decides when, who decides how, and who decides if it’s what we want to become? Most people would say it’s in your control but this past year, which arguably is the most important year of my life, has been out of my control.

As a child my life was a fairytale. I was a young daughter of two happily married parents with a beautiful little sister living in Sydney, Australia. Our first transition was a move to America, which we all believed would better our lives even further. Dad had a new job, our house had a pool, and we were living in California of all places. Looking back my childhood was a blessing. Little did I know, this blessing would soon turn into a test. A test of my strength, my will and my character.

Junior year of high-school, some say, is the most critical year of education so far. Going into it, I was focused, orgainzed and motivated to make it count for what it was worth. My father harped on how I wasn’t doing good enough. He would remind me how behind I was almost every day, how I wasn’t succeeding in “any aspect of my life”. This constant dismissal of my efforts turned my excitement into self-doubt. However I continued on, doing the best I could under his constant attack, making sure to prove him wrong. I believed I was going to decide my future, not him. My parents argued constantly, making it harder than ever to be at home. I began to push him out of my life and focused on others and cheerleading to distract me. I became Varsity Cheerleading captain that fall and although I was leading my team to sucess, I was sub-conciously neglecting my personal progress at home.

Fall came and went, and on a Thursday in Febuary my parents called my sister and I downstairs to talk. They told us my mother had a small cancerous tumor on which she was going to have a small surgery to be removed. Although the surgery went perfectly and my mom was healthy again, this small scare was enough to make me realize how forchunate I was to have my family and I began to value them even more.

Things were still rocky at home but I was trying to stay positive and motivated but three month later in June, my mom came to me to talk. My sister was away on a trip and she needed someone to confide in. She told me that she was diagnosed with cancer that week and it was much worse. She was to have surgery again in a month to try and remove it but unforchunatly a month from that day was July 12, my seventeenth birthday. To make things worse my parents arguing was hitting an all time high and that saturday, my father left. My life was thrown upside down. I had lost my happiness, my father and my mother was very sick. The week before her surgery, all I could think of was what my life had become. I didn’t ask for this, I did nothing wrong, so why me, why now? Although I was suck in a dark place inside, I saw my mother everyday in the hospital that next week. I came in smiling, told her stories from school and cheer and left her with a kiss on the cheek. I was good at that, faking the happiness I lacked in my heart.
I didn’t see or hear from my dad for more than three months and when I finally did the visits were awkward and forced. He was cutting our expenses left and right and told us we were to find a less expensive place to live. So in late september we decided to move to Colorado. Our community stepped up to help, as my mother was supposed to still be on bedrest and I was still in school. They gave us the support and love we desperatly needed and I have never had that feeling of trust in strangers as I had that month. It was an amazing thing to watch people open their hearts to us and it saddens me that we will never be able to repay them for it. They gave me hope that no matter what happens to us there will be a bittersweet result.

So now I am starting a new life here in Colorado. I have left all the problems and worries behind in California and I am determined to decide what to make of this next transition into college. Just like a catipillar, I didn’t decide to become a butterfly, but I will decide when and where I fly.

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