Turn at the wheel
There’s no ending to this story, because this is just part of a bigger one. These events were only smaller versions of ones that happened through the years. My brother survived the viral infection, and we eventually moved out of the dingy apartment. Life was still frugal but I could sleep better at night. This time, all of us were together. Birthdays and Christmases remained simple, but it was enough that we were able to experience them at all.
Going through my old journal, I recognized how I slowly learned to depend on myself: I learned how to be creative and make extra money to spend for my needs in school (like projects, parties, etc.) and even augment the grocery budget.
As I grew up, I began to understand the concept of independent choices. When Papa left his job in the middle of an economic crisis, I felt he was being unfair because we suffered so much. But I realized that, when you’re no longer happy where you are, and are dissatisfied with what you’re doing, the logical choice is to cut your losses and move on. That’s what he did.
My parents are only human too. They aren’t perfect, they aren’t always the life of the party, they have to learn to let go. Nobody knows what the future’s like, no matter how sound you think your decisions are. These decisions have to be your own, and they have to be ones you believe in. And though they don’t always work out, the important thing is to move forward.
I‘m old enough to make big things happen for me. I have important decisions to make and I know all these are subject to the powers-that-be. And though I am terrified of the unknown, and what I will find when I wake up tomorrow, the only way to make anything happen is to face life and weather its blows, the way my family did; the way we continue to do so. After all, I will only have myself to blame if something goes wrong. Yet if things go well, I know I will also have myself to thank, for being able to see it through the way I did when I was 12 years old.
This first appeared in the March 2005 issue of Candy.