Growing Up

My goals for this essay were to show how with the help of other people you can learn new things and move on from hard times. I wanted to emphasize how forgiveness is not part of our vocabulary when we are younger. I am proud in this essay that I could express myself and explain my larger idea. For the next paper, I could improve my writing techniques by starting out an outline with some points or details I want to incorporate in the essay.

When I was 7 years old, my elementary school would come and invite everyone to come and celebrate Father’s Day. That was when my 7-year-old fragile self used to cry three nights before the event. That’s when I realized that I did not have a father. My parents separated when I was 2 years old. Since that time, I’ve lost track of my biological father and my mom has been by my side for 17 years. Growing up, I would see my friends getting picked up by their parents. I wanted my parents to pick me up, but my dad wasn’t there and my mom was trying to fit in both roles, which she couldn’t because she was absent most times. Basically, I was on my own and had a hard time processing my feelings. As a kid, there aren’t many times when an adult will sit down and tell you what is going on. With the little information you get, you start blaming people and forgiving is not part of your vocabulary. I used to be rough on myself, I would most times blame myself for the separation of my parents when in reality, I had nothing to do with it and it wasn’t my fault.

Years later, I moved to a private school, where I had friends with successful parents. The following year, we celebrated Father’s Day. My friends dressed up as the mirroring image of their fathers. Instead, I dressed up as a hairdresser with an apron, because my mom was a hairdresser and she sewed for a factory. I started to accept reality and realized that even though my biological father was never there, it didn’t mean that my family wasn’t going to be there to support me. I began to get involved with different classmates and created friendships that are still standing to this day. Yes, I’ll admit that absence sucks but it’s only for a while because then you start to forget what they looked like and that they are just a memory. The absence of something or someone starts feeling like nothing after the years go by. After you make more friends and start new adventures all sorts of guilt, anger, and resentment, it will fade away. Anger and resentment became my friends and my biggest mistake was never talking about it with my family, I didn’t want to be the center of attention. I didn’t want to be another problem.

As I became older, it became harder to understand: Why me? Why does it have to be that way? I had more questions but no one to answer them. Until this day it’s still hard to comprehend why my dad decided to leave and even though we have talked about it, I feel that more happened. He usually says, “I did not love your mom anymore.” That leaves me hanging with more questions like did you love me anymore? Was it the fact that we lived in different places that emotionally separated us?

When my uncle used to play “Don’t Stop Believin” by The Journey on my way to school and we would sing to the top of our lungs it would light up my day. I would pray and ask God why wasn’t my uncle my dad? Or why didn’t I have a dad like him? I had to understand that he was just my uncle. Over the years many people have become part of my life, but when I met my dad I cried. My emotions were confused and still are. I saw him and then I saw my reflection, he is tall with curly hair, big brown eyes, and a deep voice. I would cry for my mom and he would say things like “why do you cry if I’m here?” and I would stay quiet. All that anger I thought I had learned to manage just came back. The worst attitude would come out of me until I made him cry once. I loved my sisters even my stepmother but the problem was with him. Every day for a year, I tried to get closer but it was impossible. I would just think about that time when my uncle told me “Margie you have to jump off the car” because it was burning and how he put my safety first and then his own. Little things that my dad would say, made things harder for me to forgive him, made me want my life back. The last time I saw him, I still felt like a stranger to him. Looking at his eyes I said, “would you still support me even after distance comes between us again?” To my surprise, he said, “I just think you have a better life here.” I am glad I moved to Philly out of a painful relationship, but I do admit that I miss him, I hope he knows that. Then that’s when I thanked my family for helping me become the person I am today. I’ve been a part of a couple of sports teams and clubs I’ve learned a lot from them.

Today I am not upset with my biological father, I forgive him if there is anything to forgive and I wish him the best. He has a new family and I am happy for them, I hope my sisters have a different childhood than I did. The last time I saw him I told him I just hoped the best for him and even though we hadn’t talked in a while, the last time we did we fought, I still want the best for him and I’ll be here to give the support I never got. I’ve realized that family is anyone who welcomes you to their life. After all the pain I’ve learned that I’m not the bad guy in this story and that I never was, neither was him.