This semester I took a creative writing class. Our final assignment was to write a short memoir. At first I had no idea what to write or how to begin but I knew one thing was that I needed to talk about 2017. The final ended up being a reflection for myself. So here it is, my final paper.
If I’m going to be honest with you I’m not quite sure where or how to begin. Writing fiction is a lot easier than discussing my life with people who don’t know me. It isn’t something I’m jumping over the moon about. What in my life is worth mentioning? I don’t want to sound depressing, but I’ve had a hard life. I can’t deny it or pretend that things didn’t happen. I’ve learned a lot, especially from this year. Life is like a game of BeanBoozled jelly beans. You want to get chocolate pudding but end up with canned dog food instead. With that being said let’s jump right on to this wild roller coaster that I call 2017. Let’s see if I can turn it into some profound words of wisdom.
It was January 1st when my mother received a call about a close friend passing away. It was expected yet unexpected. I wasn’t sure how to take it. He was the sweetest old man who treated me like a granddaughter. With my grandfather being across the ocean from me he really meant a lot.
January 4th I had gotten into my first actual car accident. I remember waiting to turn out of the plaza, watching the white Honda crash into a black Honda. Which then was pushed into the driver side of my car. While all this was happening I can remember staring into the eyes of the other driver, mouth opened wide. It was surreal. Everything had seem to happen in slow motion.
It was January 7th, 2017. A day that will forever be burned into my head. Before I begin, you know in movies when a loved one has passed and you see the person crying, like bawling their eyes out, snot dripping down their nose? That gasping for air because the pain hurts so badly? And obviously seeing something like that on screen hits you and makes you cry. That doesn’t even come close to the real thing. Now for years my Avo (Grandpa) had many medical issues. How he lived to be 90? I have no clue. But I was happy he did. I remember waking up at 4am to my mother crying. A painful heart wrenching scream. In that moment I knew what happened. With a flip of a switch all my emotions shut off. I walked out of my bedroom door and held her. I remember her trying to speak through broken English and tears that she needed to buy a ticket to fly to Portugal. So up until she left I fed her, helped her pack her bag, book a flight ticket, and contacted my family. It wasn’t until she had walked out the door at 6:21 pm that I broke.
I lost two people that I cared about the most, got into a car accident, and after half a year of not being in school I was starting a new semester in just a few days. Oh, and I broke up with my boyfriend of a year and a half later on that month. Talk about a curve ball right? That was just the beginning of my almost crappy 2017. Later on in the year I lost another family friend, my mother lost majority of her hearing, and she had surgery. Hence why I wasn’t there for the first day of class. It took her almost a full month to recover. There were fights between family members to the point where relationships weren’t the same anymore. But through all that chaotic turmoil I had some pretty unforgettable moments.
I’m finally finishing my AA. I got to see NYC for the first time with one of my best friends who was in a wheelchair at the time. I got to push, carry, and guide her through the concrete jungle of New York. We had an interesting karaoke night filled with many bottles of soju. I spent a week with my other best friend in Paris. That week was filled with hanging out with my family, lots of walking, and translating four different languages. I went to three concerts and performed in my second play. So even though this year took me beyond limits I thought I wasn’t capable of handling, I’ve learned that with every misstep, challenge, and trial comes a reward and a reason behind it. I wouldn’t have enjoyed the great moments of 2017 if I wasn’t touched and tested by the many sad and painful obstacles that I endured. It made every memory that more precious and meaningful to me. To quote Wayne Dyer, “Everything that happens to you is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”
I got an A+ on this. I suppose this year wasn’t SO bad but hey, I still have a few weeks left of 2017!