My senior year in high school and freshman year in college were two of the most difficult years in my life. As I look back and reflect on those years, I do not know how I made it out emotionally. It is really God's grace.
Senior year in high school is one of the most important educational years in people's life. For me, that year was a blur, a blur filled with pain, hate, and weary. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Due to unfortunate circumstances, my family (myself included) had to house hop for about half of my senior year. We were not allowed to sleep in our home. Our home was not safe due to people seeking revenge on my family. Imagine being a student and not being able to go home to all of your things. Imagine having to miss out on all your school activities and so much more. That was my senior year. My father was also sick and remained hospitalized at that time. His sickness definitely did not help our situation, but we were happy at that time because we knew that he was at least safe.
All of these events caused me to grow distant from many of my friends. I focused more on school. I searched and searched for all the scholarships out there, in hope I could go to college to escape my surrounding. I'm sure that many of my friends had no clue what was going on with me. My decisions were not adding up, and because of that I missed out on many gatherings, and senior fun. After graduating, that summer, I was getting ready for college. God blessed me with scholarships, and I was able to attend school on a full ride for 4 years. My only responsibility was to keep my gpa above a 3.0.
This was an exciting time for me. I was very thankful, and I still am. With all the stress that was put on our family, a little had seemed to be taken off. This was also the summer my mom decided to move to Virginia (personal reasons). She took my baby sister with her. My other younger sister, Fritzlaine, decided to stay behind to graduate with her senior class. I made it my responsibility to help care for her. She was brave, and decided to live back home. I was scarred from all the tragic events that was connected to my home, so I decided to live on campus (very selfish of me). As much as I wanted my freshman year to be like everyone's else's freshman year, it was not. I did not attend many parties. Maybe 3 times that year. Coming from an inner city school, I soon realized I was academically behind compared to most of my peers. Therefore, I spent more time studying, and learning. A lot of my time was also spent visiting my father.
It's not until now that I look back and wonder how in the world did I get through all that?! I never thought that I would be socially accepted. Somehow, all of these experiences and responsibilities made me feel socially awkward (I'm learning to embrace my awkwardness). I never talked about my life much because I wanted my life to look as normal as possible. I kept everything in, and took care of what needed to be taken care of.
for a while I was angry. I felt that I was robbed out of so much. It's not until now, at 25, that I realized how selfish my thinking was. Yes, my situation was not the best. But God gave me an undeniable strength to carry through. He blessed me with many things. He was there for me and He protected me-He protected my family. I was usually never sad, just focused. During those years, I learned so much about life, about love, and about giving. I grew stronger with my sister. We worked, went to church, and focused on school. I honestly believe it is those two years that caused me to be so driven and to finish school. Before, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. I was getting into senseless drama, and school was not my main focus. Although those two years seemed unbearable, they helped me make sense of life.
I like to sit and think about the everyday details that happened during those two years. I think of the many people who impacted me during those years, and who supported me unknowingly. I know many inner city kids believe there is no way out. They get stuck. They make excuses. At this time of my life, I was given 1000 reasons and 1000 excuses to skip out on college. I did not have to go to college, and I did not have to work hard. I made that decision in hope of something better. There is a way out. It's hard and painful, but it is without a doubt possible. Stop making excuses. If you really want something, God and random people (sent by God) will work in your favor. A few weeks ago, I read a book called The Alchemist. In the book, it stated, "if you really want something, the universe will conspire in your favor." This is exactly what happened to me. I felt as if everything was finally working in my favor. With God anything is possible!
Everyone is here for a reason and has a purpose. We will all come across our own obstacles. 7 years ago I would have never imagined that I would be teaching full time, finishing up my master's, married to an amazing husband, and traveling the world. Our difficult times only make us stronger. Be proud of your struggle, because there really is beauty in the struggle.
My family is now doing very well, all thanks to our Lord!
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