I realized how unfair life can be at an early age. Maybe too early, considerably. However, this has crafted me into a much better version. For all my struggles, I have become such a strong person. Life isn’t fair, and I think everyone needs to learn this early on. Although, I would never wish my upbringing on anyone. We must, however, prepare the youth for struggles that are to come. I had to take care of myself, wipe my own tears, and wear a smile, even though it wasn’t real. I started to realize this at the age of seven. In this paper I wish to discuss what it was like to have a heightened awareness of this reality at such a young age.
I lived a somewhat chaotic life before my eyes became open. I was the first of two children, living with my mother. My father was in the army, and wasn’t around much growing up before he died in battle. This was the first time I saw how harsh life can be. I remember this day so vividly. It burns my memory even today. After his death, my mother struggled. She worked extremely hard, but could never make ends meet. I had to be strong for my younger sister.
I realized this first when my father died, but it repeatedly would haunt me in several more occasions unfortunately. My mom later became very ill; she was hospitalized for a few years. I remember going to the city with my family to see her. She was so fragile, once a plump woman, now skin and bones. Unable even to eat, she wore a stomach pump. She couldn’t talk sometimes and couldn’t leave her bed. If angles are real, my mother would certainly pass all qualifications. She was such a selfless person. She never bought herself new things, all her money went to ensuring my sister and I had what we needed and so much more. She was suffering greatly, and it made me question so much.
Amongst these several realizations of truth, my faith was one of them. I was always very religious. I did my prayers and fasting, I trusted God so much with all aspects of my life. But seeing my mom, my angel, in so much pain really made things complicated. There are horrible people in this world, people more deserving of this pain. Not my mom, who has already, agreeably, suffered so much already in life. What with being a single parent and all. I never questioned my faith until this point.
Although my father’s death was difficult, my mom’s situation impacted me much more. Not only did I lose some faith, my whole outlook on life changed also. I started wearing a black heart, I didn’t care about others much. It was a black time in my life. I didn’t want to help a single person. I was once a caring and sympathetic person but not anymore. I looked myself in the mirror one day and realized being like this wasn’t going to help anything.
From this day forward, I made it a priority to regain my pure heart and innocent mind. Even though I have seen how hard life is, that doesn’t mean I can’t remain good. Being distant from God was an unsettling feeling. I knew something had to be done. I also knew my mother, now more than ever, needed me to be the rock. She had carried the weight of this family for so long, and even in her illness she tried.
Before I realized these things, I was sad and hopeless. I never would have made it this far without becoming strong early on. I have faced several hardships while studying abroad, however I know conquer them fearlessly. I wouldn’t change my situation, because who knows the person I would be. Life may not be fair, but you need to keep pushing. Thanks to my struggles, I know exactly what I want in life and I strive every day to fulfill them.