The Life Of My Life

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Often people will say that you are a product of your environment, that you are at the whim of “where you come from.” However, I think life is much more adaptable and that you can be an outsider even in your native soil. The life from which I came is not one that I ever wish to return to and I seek to only learn from it; I recognize my roots, but I like to imagine that I’ve been brought to a better climate in a more loving soil. I like to imagine myself like a plant that’s been torn apart but has grown around the scars. Before I was twelve, I lived with my mom and my four brothers and sisters. At one point, we lived in an apartment that soon became termite-ridden and we became homeless for awhile, landing upon a ‘home’ on a boulevard in Martinez, California. For years, I was in and out of school due to my mother’s whims and uncleanliness I couldn’t prevent. I was trapped in a daze; my mother would disappear and I kept apologizing for her alcoholism and drug use, never letting the blame fall on her shoulders. My father was rarely present, and when he was, it made things worse. I can only describe these years as years of stagnation. Eventually, I was placed into foster care and in July of 2013, I came to my current home with my aunt and uncle. Those years of hardship meant many years for me to learn that I was not meant to live in the stereotypical mould of a foster kid; that I didn’t have to live anyone else’s ideals or be set by my supposed limitations. I had to become my

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