A Resident's StoryResident's Corner
I will never forget waking up nervous and with butterflies in my stomach. It was Wednesday, May 23rd, and I was going to walk across the stage and receive my high school diploma from Riverside County High School in the graduating class of 2018. It was frustrating feeling this way and I couldn’t decide if these were good or bad feelings, as I knew there would be teachers and people there that had seen me act in ways I was embarrassed about. As I was getting ready, the memories hit me hard and the butterflies worsened.
Jan and Christina drove me to Riverside, and when we arrived at the commencement, I saw my 7th grade teacher right away. He didn’t notice me at first and didn’t recognize me until I said my name. Too my surprise, he seemed not surprised that I had made it! I started seeing all my teachers, and they were excited to see me! This isn’t what I expected, and it warmed my heart while tickling my skin with mixed emotions. While it was great seeing them and knowing they were proud, I didn’t see any of my family members. This caused me to scream deep inside myself as the pain was so great, but I shoved it back down. This was my special day and even though the people who say they are my family never came, I still had people who love me by my side. I could hardly believe they did this for me.
After graduation, we went to get something to eat. Because we were in my hometown and where my family still lives, the memories came flooding back. I saw people I knew and places I had been everywhere I looked, and this stirred up my wandering mind. For a moment the urge was so strong to run from the car and back to my old lifestyle. I didn’t run, instead I learned a big lesson. The pull of that other life is there and if I want a better life, I must resist by making better decisions every day.