moving out to the United States
One day, my dad was offered the opportunity of traveling to Houston to take security certification courses. He had always dreamed of visiting the United States, so he immediately accepted. When he returned, he talked about his amazing experiences, the culture shock, and how much we would enjoy it. He was hooked. Soon after, we visited my aunt in New Jersey: a place that does not remotely resemble Houston, but my small Peruvian family enjoyed anyway. Her suburban home and the quality of life were enough to plant the American Dream in our hearts; we went back home to plan for our future, saving money and hoping for the best.
Due to job opportunities, we decided to move to the Sunshine State. I cannot recall our first couple of weeks in Florida, but I was never able to forget the first day in our newly rented apartment. We managed to find our building and when we opened the door we were met by blank white walls with an equally empty white tile floor. It was a new start. Just as lunch time rolled around, we realized we had nothing. My parents went out to get food; after they came back, we sat on the floor of our new home while we ate with our hands from paper plates and talked about whether we liked the new place. For the first time in my life, at the young age of thirteen, I questioned my dad's decisions. What was this man thinking? Moving to a completely different country that speaks a language we did not know and leaving all of our family behind, and for what? An empty apartment? Nothing made sense. That night I laid on a mattress I shared with my sister on the floor and before I lost all hope in my dad, his words of encouragement echoed in my head. Phrases like "keep dreaming," "dreams don't cost anything" and "don't be a conformist" pounded in my head. Phrases that I once thought of as empty moral wisdom, now started to make sense. He was not just a man with a crazy dream, he was my dad looking to improve our future. All I saw was an empty apartment, but he saw an opportunity to start over and move forward.
My dad's decision to move to the United States taught me something I struggled to understand. He irradiated confidence and determination in his dreams, which sparked a fire in me to pursue mine. Everyday, my dad's words of wisdom encouraged me to work hard to reach my goals and surpass myself. I learned to express my opinions and guide others; to ensure my voice was heard, I worked on my English. I dedicated time to math and science classes, and excelled at them. I constantly seeked to improve myself, not to impress the world but to impress me. For the first time ever, my actions felt like accomplishments that I was proud of. As time went on, my actions evolved into my character. With my confidence and initiative for progress, I influenced those around me like my dad had influenced me. I was not born a leader, but I grew to be one.
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