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Looking Beyond My Past

By , Pleasant Plain, OH
“Sarah Elizabeth”, means more than just the name I was given 14 years ago. It means god’s brave princess, also who I am. On August 8th, 1996 I was born in Iowa to a family of four with a loving mother and father. Two weeks later I moved to Ohio where I have lived ever since. My sisters name is Rebecca and she is 18, Robert, my brother, is 16 and my parents are over 40. I have been home schooled since I was three and been involved with Leaves up until today. I now find out that being home schooled is working against me because I feel like it’s harder to decide what to do with my high school education, but it has worked for me as a kid.

At the age of five I started to swim for a swim team that was coached by my mom’s friend and I swam a lot as a little fast swimmer. It was the only sport that I did, but I enjoyed it so much, especially the meets. I loved going to the new pool where so many others just like me were and warming up in the cold pool, then writing my events on my hand and feeling the adrenaline in my heart. As soon as I dove off the block I would swim as fast as I could while my coaches were screaming at me to go faster. When I touched the wall, everyone would cheer because I was so little and had gone so fast.

For the past seven years I have been growing and learning life skills on 28 acres in the middle of nowhere. My favorite season is fall because the leaves fall and smells fill the air. Mom would make my siblings and me rake all the leaves up into piles and then put them on a sheet.
We were then supposed to take them to the chicken pen for bedding, but we were very playful and instead would run and jump into them, making leaves fly everywhere and float back down onto the pile. I would make piles just like the Calvin did in the Calvin and Hobbs comic books my sister read. I thought he was cool because he played all the time and was so imaginative, little did I know I was just the same.

From when I was small till I was 12 I did girl scouts and loved it. I went to Cosi several times during it, did camp outs, community service projects, fun crafts at meetings, and helped others. Cosi is a science museum in Columbus that is very hands on and is fun for scouts. When I turned 10 years old my family decided to cut down on some of our family activities, so I was forced to make a decision on whether to do swimming or girl scouts. This was one of the hardest choices that I ever made. I laid in bed for nights and cried over what to do because I enjoyed both of them and had participated in them for so long. I finally decided on sticking with girl scouts, so I stopped swimming, which I now realize was a big mistake on my part, because after only two more years of girl scouts I quit that too. Then I wasn’t involved in much. The reason I quit scouts is because my stomach did not agree with my brain which was against my actions. In other words, I got too nervous to go camping away from my family, even though I wanted to. I still had things going on just not main activities.

In the summer and for Christmas, my family always went on vacation to Maryland which is where my grandparents live. My Grammie and Pop, my great grandmother, and my Grandma and Grandpa. The worst thing that has happened in my life is my great grandfather passing away, after the summer vacation we took when I was 12 to my great grandparents to visit them. We knew that my great grandfather had prostate cancer, but I didn’t completely register the idea of it. My mother told me that this was probably our goodbye visit to him, so we spent the day at his house just soaking up every last bit of his love and listening to his calming voice. But when I left I wasn’t happy from my vacation I was sad and wished that it had never happened, but I was grateful that I got to see him one last time. A few months later he passed away and I just wanted to see him again. I hoped that there was a heaven that he went to because I didn’t know I just wanted him to be okay. That was also the first time I had thought about religion because I’m Unitarian and we don’t have strong beliefs. You believe in whatever you feel is right and I had never done that until then, so it felt odd, but I truly hoped for the heaven.

I have had different things in my life like happier summer vacation, like a few days in a beach house at Ocean City that belonged to my great grandfather. The house had four bedrooms which was perfect for us. My brother and sister shared a room with me. It had two beds and a fold out chair where I slept. It was hot at night but the beach sounds filled my ears as I slept, looking forward to a great day to follow. In the morning I ate either rum cake (my favorite) or cereal. Then slapped on my swim suite and smacked on sun block as I ran to the beach. Then I spent the whole afternoon in the ocean until I was hungry. Then I would eat lunch and go back for more. The ocean is one of my favorite places in the world.

I think that the earth is a mysterious miracle. That something so big can be slowly turning through air and have tons of thousands of people living on it. How did they get there? How is it that we are most likely the only form of creature on a planet? So many questions to be answered about Earth. I feel that the world is a pretty darn good place for me to live on despite of the few bad things.

This past year I have been growing into a teenager and enjoying myself more and more. I love to hang out with friends and still find myself playing with toys. I have also been playing with my animals and doing 4-H in the summertime. I raise silkie chickens which are a breed of fancy poultry. I show them in breeding shows and use them in showmanship to present my knowledge. I have all the colors except the mixed varieties, but I don’t want those colors. My favorite one of our animals is my baby goat Bell Flower. Bell is a nubian goat who's black with floppy ears and a white spot on her head. She’s just like my mini nubian goat Daisy except smaller (for now). Bell Flower nibbles on me and follows me around in the field when I go see her. I took her to the fair this summer and showed her there. I plan to do it again next summer. On my free time I love to jump on my trampoline or do crafts. With other time I swim, do homework, or watch TV. My favorite shows are Chuck and Glee, totally different but it keeps a variety of entertainment. I’m starting to find more things that I can do on my own that I like because my sister is going to college. That’s having the biggest effect on me right now because I have to become more responsible and self sufficient. I won’t have two “mommy's” looking after me now I’ll just have one. Which is perfectly fine but I’m used to two. I feel that the next few years of high school are going to be challenging and new. I will just have an older brother living with me to look up to, but he’s the best brother you could have. I’m sure I will have the same struggles as any other high schooler but I live in the best place to work them out.





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