There was nothing easy about having to live in the next town over and travel twenty to thirty minutes every day to school because my family could not afford the rent in the town where I was attending high school. My parents did not care that we did this commute everyday just because they knew I had a better chance at graduating in Beacon, rather than if I were to attend high school in Newburgh.
There was nothing easy about living with very strict traditional Mexican parents who made sure that every day I would go straight home do my homework, cook and clean the house, as well as look over my younger sisters. No friends, no hanging out. There were never any sleepovers in my agenda, and if I was allowed to go to birthday parties it would only be for about an hour. I did not understand then, but I do now.
It is not that my parents were mean or hated me. On the contrary I do not believe I will ever be loved by someone as much as my parents loved me. They needed me in those times, when they were both working 2 jobs each in order for us to survive. I was always a great student, until I reached the age of 15. My grades detrimentally dropped, I was confused, lost, and unfortunately “boy crazy”. I only ever skipped school once in my life and with my luck, my mother caught me.
She took me out of school and made me go to work with her every day, at that time she cleaned houses. She told me she was going to teach me how my life was going to be if I continued to do what I was doing and if I wanted to clean toilets like her I might as well get used to it, by the end of the week I was begging her to let me go back to school. I felt miserable; I had friends but I still felt like I did not fit in, and then I felt as if my parents were out to get me at home.
This is because I was going through my “phase” the stage where I was trying to make sense of the world around me, while trying to figure out who I was as well. We all go through this phase, everybody experiences it differently, some are luckier than others but that is just life. I just wish I knew this back in high school, it would have made my life a lot easier. The key is to push through, there will be many times that you feel lost and things feel very out of place, but one day it will all make sense, just don’t give up.