“Now I’ve gone for too long, living like I’m not alive, so I’m going to start over tonight…” —Hayley Williams. In the fourteen years of my life, I have found out what it means to love, to lose, to be abandoned, to hate, to love again, and to lose again. I have found out what it means to be lost and to be found, only to be lost again. In the fourteen years of my life I can honestly say that I have experienced true heartache, but with the help of my family—my true family—I have found out what it means to be happy.
In the fourteen years of my life, I have learned to not let go; I learned to hold on to happiness tightly and to not let it go because it may never come back. I have learned that love is immortal, and it will exist for years to come. I have learned to not take things for granted; people these days take everything for granted.
It would be a shame not to say thank you to the people who have encouraged me to become the person I am today. I would like to say thank you to my mother, Laura, who came to rescue me when I was in the darkest place of my life. To my father, Juvenal, who has been my inspiration for moving my life forward. To my brother, Vincent, who has been there for me since birth. To my sister, Nevaeh, who is my reminder of new beginnings. To my four sisters, Alicia, Angelina, Arianna, and Alexa, who have all been my rock and my family, who have welcomed me into their home—our home. To my Aunt Andrea and Uncle Mike and their children, who have been constant supporters in my life, who have welcomed my brother into their home. The list of people who have helped me move forward is endless.
My final thank you goes to Victoria and Ron. Thank you for letting me and my family go when you did. I can not think of a better place to be in right now. I once read a quote that said children become their parents. I certainly hope I become like mine.
To conclude, my past, by no means is perfect, and I can not change that. I have struggled and I will probably continue to struggle for as long as I live. Life does not define a person, for a person defines life. The actions we do, the things we say, the people we love, the people we let into our lives, and the people we let go— that defines life. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” — Marianne Williamson