Changes

I am now nineteen and I’ve flown around the world and done things many people only dream of. I’ve managed to make people laugh, cry, smile, and get frustrated. I myself have found myself in those situations. In the past few months I’ve done a lot of growing up, realized what pain was, and held onto those I cared about. They held me up when I needed it the most.

The past few months have been a complete struggle for me. There was no moment where I never asked myself if I should quit now and leave, go back to who I was. There were moments where I pretended I was okay but I really wasn’t. I kept telling myself that people prayed for me and knew I could do it but I kept falling down and struggled to get back up. People helped me up, but I kept getting scared and forgetting my own strength. But despite the fear I smiled and found humor in the situation.

“Mem, you are resilient and that will be your greatest ally in your life.” Says a man I truly respect on the last day I was there. The changes are now set forth, and suddenly I feel lighthearted and stronger.

In my moment of weakness I found myself. I found humor in any situation that was given to me and spread it like an infection in an environment that tended to crush souls. Humor doesn’t transfer well on paper, but, at least it sticks in memory forever.

It never mattered who I was or where I came from, what I wanted to be or what I ended up doing. I’m living, breathing and supported by friends and family.

I’m now nineteen years old, still wondering about my future but now feel secure enough to let God lead me. I have a better understanding of myself and I’m still learning. My life and possibilities now seem so endless.

An awkward moment

Mem: “Hey Michelle?”
Christine: “Who is Michelle? I’m Christine.”
Mem: “Does this make me look bad that you’ve sat next to me all semester and I’ve only called you by that name?”
Christine: “I was wondering who you were talking too…”

Wonderful little day

“Sister, I don’t want to go home…” Are the first words I woke up to this morning. I don’t have a sibling living in the house at the moment. There was a five-year-old that I was babysitting and it was such a wonderful way to wake up in the morning.

I dressed and got ready for class. The teacher isn’t there so I will have to teach the class. Last time it was chaos. They overwhelmed me. I say a quick prayer before putting my coat on and walking out of the house and running to church. Hoping that God will provide me with the confidence needed to teach the class.

Well, nothing is ever perfect. I tried, I went, and they learned. Their eyes closing slightly at the early morning speeches and ideas. Then the hugs, and the energy came back and suddenly I felt as if I were somewhat successful. Somewhat.

I went to church, then went to the store to buy a homeless shelter some items. While there I met a newborn. Newly two days old with their parents walking, happy as ever. His small pink fists pressed against his cheeks as he breathes in and out, in and out and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with emotions.

I read a book “Son” by Lois Lowry, which makes me appreciate my mother, despite our differences. The emotions of Lowry and the loss of her son about 17 years ago rang so true through the novel. The reviews aren’t perfect; they never are, but despite the amazing novel “The Giver”, I find myself loving “Son”, even more.

After about two hours, cramped up in the middle of the aisle with cranky parents having to maneuver about my legs, my father calls me and tells me were going to “Rise of the Guardians”. I don’t normally see movies, I’m fidgety and cannot sit still but this movie had me on all three levels:

1) Jack Frost, the idea of him being a thin, long-legged, mischief maker with white hair sold me.
2) the quotes that were in the movie. Don’t ask me what they are now but I do remember I gawked quite a bit.
3) the Easter bunny when nobody believed him… And the sand man. Everytime the Easter bunny talked in his “non-believing mode” I was sobbing from happiness and joy.

And lastly a husbands love for his wife. He had this elaborate set up for his 25th anniversary and his wife fell sick. In short he had a parish involved and her brother to walk her down the aisle for a renewal of vows. But since she fell sick he did it all in the comfort of his house. She cried. He cried. I cried.

I wish days like this could come more often, but it will stay with me forever and ever.

Pass

Walking home today in the chilled October weather, I walked past a house that had a lot of meaning to me. A house whose doors were always open and smiling hearts and warm food awaited.

I was a year younger, dressed in confusion. Newly out of the house with an argument behind me, I stumbled in once and fell in love. I felt like I was finally home after eighteen years of searching.

Well, the family left and the house still stands. I stood before it for a long while, thanking it but also regretting that I spent so much time there when really in my stubbornness, I should have been home with my parents. Talking things out, perhaps the situation I came under would have been easier to deal with.

The wind whipped my hair and chilled my cheeks, the door opened and I was almost happy and a little boy came out and I knew it was time for me to leave.

Skipping stones

My father and I, mother watching warily from a height above us, sat by the riverfront. I watch as the river swells, laughter rises, and beauty both diminishes and is soon replaced by the nighttime sky.

I wait until the sun sets the world on fire. I let this moment drag.

“Dad, I’ve never learned how to skip stones.”

“What kind of childhood have you had?”

A nomadic one, a cultural one, a confusing one thoughts flow into my head.

“The one you gave me.”

He bends down with his aching knees and has a fist full of rocks in his hands. He puts one into my hand and shows me how to throw it as if I’m still a child.

Moments like this make my mothers heart swell and my father regrets momentarily how much of a normal life I’ve never had. Then he laughs about it and realizes he could never change it. I’m eighteen now, I look and act nothing like a normal eighteen year old and that’s what makes me their child.

I continue to skip rocks until the fires dim out and the world is cold and cool again. I listen to the sounds of splashing in the canoes we rode earlier, the chanting of the temple we visited and although so much joy and beauty existed, I found my most favorite part of the journey was skipping stones along the river bank with my father watching the first ripple, create a second ripple, then a third, to sink into the bottom of the bank.

What was, what is, and what will be.

Humor

I’d like to think I have a great sense of humor, but I can’t really tell a joke that well; I’m far too analytical. In any case here are a few things I’ve heard in a while:

Teacher: “if two brothers go around claiming that they’re plumbers what are they?” (In terms of social class)
Student: “Iconic video game characters!”

Teacher: “Keep this accounting textbook and look at it often and remember me.”
Student: “I SHALL READ THIS TO MY KIDS FOR BED TIME STORIES. They’ll be so smart!”
Teacher: “That’s overkill.”

Teacher: “so most children of illegal immigrants do not know that they are illegal until their parents sit them down and tell them th-”
Student: “YOU’RE ADOPTED!”

League Of Legends

So I’ve gotten back into League of Legends and remembered why I stopped playing; because I couldn’t stop.

As I sit on my laptop with a friend behind me playing on the big screen and my father yelling commands to us it’s clear that we’re all learning something: teamwork in an intense situation.

Or bonding, in its own way.

Whatever the case, League of Legends has me trapped.

(Too bad I’m far too chicken to play player vs. player. XD)