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Let’s Talk About Family

Yes, I understand. You have just arrived at a new country and will spend the next God-knows-how-many years of your life living in a town so remote that you have never even heard of before. You have lost all your friends and worse yet, you can’t speak a word of the local language. Sure, there is a phone but a long-distance call over the Pacific Ocean back to where you come from will cost a fortune that you know your family cannot afford. So here you are, left alone in isolation at a foreign place. You are lonely. You are scared. And you feel hopeless.

As despairing as it may seem for the days to come, however, don’t you ever let fear take over your life. Think about it: This is not the end of the world, far from it. You will make new friends, if you stay open-minded. You will learn the language, if you are willing to put in the efforts. You will even realize what a beautiful place you have come to, if you are willing to walk out of that tiny little room of yours and start exploring. So don’t be afraid, for life has just presented you an adventure, one that perhaps at this point seems overwhelming and yet, I guarantee you, will be rewarding when you look back in life.

Don’t feel imprisoned — because you are not. You just turned 16 and can’t possibly foresee what will be coming at you in the years to come. Just one year from now, you will meet a girl you like, although the ending might not be exactly what you wish for. Two years from now, a technology called Internet will forever change the way you and everyone else think about everything. You will fall in love with it, start building things around it, and eventually even develop a career out of it. Three years from now, you will own your very first car in life, a beautiful Pontiac Firebird, and become a freshman in college. But listen, exactly five years from now, Mom, the strongest woman you ever know, will be sick. Very sick. She will barely survive a major surgery but won’t even let you and your little sis know about her condition until she starts to recover. Why? She wants you two to focus on school without worrying about her.

Yes, you could have lost Mom without knowing it and a chance to say goodbye. And yes, there is nothing you can do to stop this unfortunate event from striking you and your family hard by surprise. So, consider again walking out of that tiny little room of yours and look around. You are not alone for even if there is no one else, your family is still right there with you at this very moment. Help Mom build her dream garden in the backyard while she is still healthy and capable of doing what she loves to do. Join Mom and Sis for a day trip to the zoo or ice skating on the river while they are still there with you living under the same roof. Live the moment and cherish the precious time down to the second you can spend with your family today. You may have just moved in but one day, not long from now, everyone will move away and the house will be sold. One day, believe it or not, your family will need you as much as you need them.

Be strong. Don’t lock yourself up because of fear.

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