Leaving Everything Behind

Nicole Ayala

For many, leaving everything behind to start a new life in a different country seems scary, and the fear of the unknown holds many back. However, some people eventually do it as new opportunities come their way. My mom says she would “do it all over again.” At just twenty years old she left behind her family, friends, home, and future career of being a lawyer just to move to the US with my dad. My mom states that “they had known each for just a couple of months” and were also having a long-distance relationship. “It was scary since no one in my family had my support and I didn’t quite understand what I was getting myself into, ” states my mom, as no one was expecting her to actually commit to moving away. She also didn’t quite understand how my dad was living in the US and how well she was going to adapt to the new environment.

As my mother committed to the transition of moving away hundred of miles from home, she was shunned for a while by her own parents and siblings. “For quite a while, my family would not call me back as they were disappointed in the choices that I had made.” In a new country with no family to help her out, my mom was put to work right away, working many hours in a food factory in order to live comfortably with my dad.

“It was never easy and I learned a lot,” recalls my mom as my father and her had to work their way up together in order to build a mini-empire. “We went from living in someone’s garage to finally having our own home.” With years of sacrifice and a lot of learning, my parents were able to succeed alone and have now completed their biggest goal which is being homeowners. “I’m still amazed at what I did at such a young age, however, thankful for the opportunities I have been given.” Since moving to the US, my mom has been forgiven by her family, and now she visits them as much as she can. She has also gotten a better job and is satisfied with her way of life.