Don’t Give Up Hope

Zlatan - Johnston, Iowa
Entered on January 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

If there is one thing that I believe in, it would be not giving up hope no matter how hard it maybe at the moment. When I was younger, I dreamed of another land to be able to have a better life for my family and myself. Being out of the city on a small country farm in Croatia was certainly not the type of life I wanted to experience much longer.

Maybe the living out there part was not the worst thing to experience, but however there were other things that didn’t make life any easier. There was a lot of food that we grew out on our farm but still it didn’t seem enough to be able to live a good life. It might have been the people around us that didn’t satisfy me, but now thinking about it that wasn’t it either. It had to be the lack of money that we had and the things that we had compared to others. I don’t like saying that we were exactly poor, but we managed on a daily basis to get by on just the necessities.

My parents went to work everyday and provided the best that they could for us. We lived on the necessities; which included clothing. I would be taken to the city once or twice a year before school started for a pair of pants and a shirt. Sometimes it would be two of each, but only on rare occasion. The two pairs of pants and shirts would have to last us the whole year we attended school. It was hard not to ruin clothing when having to wear the same thing over and over all year long. I guess the positive side about it was that I wasn’t the only one that had to live like that. The neighbors that we had next door lived the same lifestyle sometimes having to send their kids to school with the same clothes that they had received the previous year.

I wasn’t sure how much longer of this life style I wanted to or even could live. My parents would say that it will get better soon but I wasn’t sure whether or not to believe them. I know they were my parents and them saying that would probably mean that it was true, but it just didn’t seem that way. I didn’t want to give up on myself or them so I continued to have hope and believed that everything would soon be better for all of us.

We all got the break that we needed when my moms parents went to the United States the following year. They sent us papers that made us able to come and live in the United States also. In the next couple months, we got the papers we needed and moved to the United States where we got a new beginning.

Moving to the United States and having a new life was something that I dreamed of for a long time. I knew that it if I wouldn’t give up hope that everything was going to be ok. I didn’t give up in myself or my parents. My parents were especially happy because they knew that they could give us things here that we could only dream of back in Croatia. I was so thankful for the opportunity we got to come here and get a chance at a better life. It is something that I will hold and cherish for a long time.