Hero Recipe

Hero Recipe

When asked "Who is my hero?" the typical, generic answers come to my mind: my mother, my older brother, my grandfather, my uncle...

To me, these people are heroes, but sometimes I like to think of myself being my real hero. Now, I know this may sound a bit conceited, but having high esteem for myself has gotten me through some very difficult times, and for my achievement in persevering through those times I do consider myself to be a hero.

Growing up, my family consisted mainly of my mother and me. I have one older sister and one older brother, but they have a different father than me. My mom is a single parent, divorced from my siblings' father, and left behind by my father who passed away a week after I was born. Blessed to have a large family on my mother's side, I never noticed the absence of relatives on my father's side. Blessed again, my mother's ex-husband became like a father to me, treating me the same as my brother and sister, and his family embraced me as their own too. No one ever pointed out the fact that my family was a bit different than what is "normal," and I never even considered or realized that my siblings were only half siblings. This familial closeness distracted me, in a good way, from those pieces of me that were missing, but could their presence go unnoticed forever?

The answer is "no," their presence has not gone unnoticed. As I grew up I increasingly noticed the absence of some missing pieces to the puzzle called my life. Never brave enough to confront the situation head on and discuss it with my mom or anyone else, I took coping into my own hands. I know that this choice could have turned out to be very dangerous, but luckily for me it did not. Learning to deal with my emotions has made me stronger, and I have not allowed the misfortunes of my early years to slow me down at all. This is an example of a true hero to me.

Passing through kindergarten, elementary and middle school, and even high school I found myself doing well, never burdened too much by my past, and walking confidently on the right path to my awaiting future. 

The path that I foresaw for myself suddenly ended though. "When?" you ask. In high school I was certain I wanted to move away from home, go to college to be a journalist, and eventually work for a major fashion magazine. This vision I had quickly became erased from my mind after I moved to New York City and began a semester as a journalist student. The environment was not right for me, the people were not right for me, the university's curriculum was not right for me, my living situation was not right for me, and so on... Nothing was right! I had anxiety, I was stressed, I was uncomfortable... I experienced many difficult and challenging things. After only about one month I noticed myself growing depressed, and I knew I had to make a move... a move back home.

After finishing the four month semester I returned to my hometown of Boston and felt as though I had been liberated, as though a weight had been lifted off of me. However, even though I was home and out of the terrible situation I found myself in in New York, I still felt depressed. I felt guilty and angry with myself for making the wrong decision to go to the college I went to and attempting to be something I grew to not want to be. All of this affected me emotionally and physically, and took a toll on me and my relationships.

I was depressed! Depression was a word I never thought would be in the same sentence as my name, but it was, the doctor told me, and I could not handle it. That time in my life was very hard for me in so many ways. I feared I would never recover, and having to admit to others that I was depressed seemed impossible for me to do.

After a couple of months I felt as though I had recovered... had handled the situation on my own, and again left my past behind so that it could no longer haunt me. How hard that time in my life was for me cannot adequately be described with words, but thankfully I got through it. For that reason I also find myself to be a hero. I persevered, I was motivated to succeed, I was hopeful for a new start and a brighter future, and I had the strength to get through it and make a comeback. 

This is a hero to me so, although I know many people who could be considered my hero, I think I can rightfully say that I am my hero. Without my own gifts, talents, and strengths I would not have recovered from the difficult times in my life, but I did, and today I am looking into the future with an open mind and a hopeful heart, excited for what is to come and finally feeling as though I am in the right place at the right time, and on the path to a bright future. 

I am my own hero and I am proud of that.


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