My Unexpected Journey

By: Alina Sahakyan

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My Unexpected Journey - Alina Sahakyan

Hollywood Senior High School


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In life, sometimes all it takes is one person, one community, one teacher, or one counselor to change the way you view the entire world. My family has shaped and shifted me into the person that I am today. I have learned and I have lost, but I understand that this is part of becoming an adult. The community which I have grown up in has isolated me from my peers, disallowing me to act like my true self.

When I was eight years old, I watched my home become destroyed piece by piece and with each counting second I was taken away and left without seeing my mother for three months. My father tried to explain to me that everything was going to be alright, but I was convinced otherwise. Day by day my uncle took my sister, brother and I to school because that is where my father had dropped us off. Not only did this become a memory that I would never forget, but not a day goes by that I do not remember the feelings I felt and the race of my heartbeat.

When a couple months had passed and I was finally reunited with my mother, I did not recognize her from the pain and bruises around her eyes and on her face. Within a couple months, I was thrown into four walls of a courthouse, being begged to lie about my feelings. Teachers were not notified about my surrounding environment in which I was growing up and although I did not mind, I hoped someone would care for an eight-year-old kid. Until things got calmer and custody had been finalized, I became a thirteen-year-old girl who had to visit her school’s “Healthy Start” office twice a month and her father behind bars.

When I finally began to open my eyes and hope for the best, it became one bitter December afternoon when I received a call saying, “Your brother has been in an accident.” my face grew pale, hands cold, eyes wide, and my heart began racing. I did not believe those words. The brother who I had grown up with, the guy who always reminded me that boys had “cooties”, the one who fought for me in sixth grade when I was being bullied, the one who went out of his way to make me happy when I was feeling upset, and the only one who saw an entire universe in my eyes. Not only did my heart break into small pieces, but so did his neck...and in a matter of seconds, that is how I lost him.

Not only will my Christmas be shattered every year, but I realized that you need to appreciate not just what or whom you have, but what you have not, and the only thing keeping me sane are my dreams and aspirations which have become my silver lining.