I believe my experiences form who I am as an individual

Natalia - Hollywood, Florida
Entered on April 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I remember random moments in my life. I remember when I wrote my first poem in the fifth grade, I remember my kindergarten graduation, I remember my first play, and I remember when I made my first friend. I also remember when I got lost, when I did not receive a role I wanted, and when I fell off my bike. These experiences belong to me and taught me many lessons about life. I believe my experiences form who I am as an individual. I have never forgotten these experiences because of the pleasures they gave me or the tears they made me shed.

Some experiences taught me lessons: life is not fair, be grateful for what I have, and know everything can change in an instant. Last year, my uncle came over to my house to pick up something before he left home for Colombia. The next day I found out he had died. I flew to Colombia, where I realized I was the only person to really say goodbye; I was the lucky one. The most important lesson I learned from everything though, is that life does not always give second chances. I have regretted many things in life; I have regretted not seizing the opportunities I had when I was younger. Moments pass by quickly, and I should do whatever I can to enjoy every minute.

Another experience I will never forget is my trip to Europe and Israel. I tasted exotic foods, traveled new lands, and smelled new scents I did not even know existed. In Israel I stayed in a kibbutz and visited the Wailing Wall. In Italy I visited extravagant churches and walked in ancient cities and towns. That same summer I travelled to Colombia again and met new friends. I always wish that I could go back and relive my most memorable summer, but I know I have to focus on the present to continue my life’s journey.

Every so often I talk about the past with my friends, and then we laugh about our childhoods. We talk about our favorite shows and stories, ridiculous moments, beliefs, and aspirations. I remember how I met my friends; I remember how a girl used to tease me until she apologized and began being friendly with me; now we have been friends for eight years. I remember when I moved to a new home; I was so happy to receive my own room but realized I was too scared to sleep in a room by myself. I remember my second grade show and how at the end the teachers surprised us by blowing snow on stage. These simple emotions I felt formed a large part of my life because I did not know what I really had until it was gone.

Everyone is different because everyone lived a different life. Everyone acts and thinks differently because everyone has overcome situations independently. Through my personal experiences, I have grown up different from anybody else.