Cold Celsius to Fire Fahrenheit
The most impacting change of my life could be summarized in the simple name change of a temperature scale.
Born in Bogota, Colombia never did it occur to me that I would pack my bags at the age of 8 and leave to an unknown future. Without understanding what was going on, I had no choice but to go. I had to leave the cold. I had to leave more than that. Family, friends, school – I had to start all over.
Pack Your Bags
And so it was time. I actually don’t remember anything I brought over. It did not really matter simply because I only cared about what I was leaving behind. This was not a vacation. This was a
forever change that I somehow had to adjust to. There was no way to prepare for such drastic change, no way to prepare for the blazing heat of Miami.
First Abroad Experience
From the beginning I made myself believe that my first abroad experience was going to make me the most miserable 8 year old alive. After I waived my dad goodbye with tears in my eyes, my next 4 hours flew by. I do not recall the airplane ride or picking up my bags. I just remember leaving the airport and seeing the sun beaming rays off the palm trees. Everything seemed so beautiful. I gazed outside my window not really caring where I was going. I was in awe. I realized this was my new life.
Of course, it was just a week before I had to start school. Frightened at the language barrier I faced, I tried to get myself out from having to go to school. The first day after the winter break would be my first day of school. Not only was I the new girl, I also did not speak or understand a bit of english. I was afraid I would be an outcast and that I would not be able to communicate myself with others. As a kid the one thing one is afraid of doing is standing out. I just wanted to fit right in the group, not be noticed and not be bothered.
By the end of the day I was astonished at how wrong I was. I did not have a bad day at all. I made friends, somehow I did, in fact a lot of people spoke spanish. In a way, going to live in Miami gave me that advantage, because so many people spoke the language it was not as difficult for me communicate with others. Just that incident made me realize how I without the intention of doing so, made myself worried about a situation that I had no control over. I learned to let some situations be.
I left the cold and I came to the heat. I also left with a heart so cold, so filled with pain because of my loses. Nonetheless, as the days, weeks, and months passed my heart warmed up. It heated it up, and from it a fire started. This fire gave me the strength and opportunity to start over. As I adjusted to the temperature I knew that I would always have to adjust to change. Just like fire helps steel bend and form into incredible shapes, the fire from Miami helped me mold into a curious child looking to be the best ‘shape’, ‘figure’, or ‘artifact’ I could be.