My life was supposed to overflow with adventure. Every day filled with constant surprises, enemies to conquer and new lands to discover. I was told from the day I was born and all through my childhood that my existence had meaning, and my life would be extraordinary.
My mom was a freelance travel writer. She had articles in tons of magazine such as National Geographic and Discover magazine. Then the breathtakingly vivid and authentic photos lined up alongside her articles were usually my father’s. Together as writer and photographer, they would travel to the pyramids of Egypt and remote civilizations like the Sentinelese tribe in North Sentinel Islands of India.
They were so enlightened and experienced. They raised me, and my older brother, Anthony, to be conscious of the fact that humanity is one and that we are lucky to have the life we do. No one is better than another and we must all work together to protect this beautiful moribund planet.
They were different than most parents. Instead of our family nights consisting of UNO and Monopoly, we would have sparring matches and practice mixed martial arts. We would go to parks and see who can climb trees fastest or catch a squirrel first.
My life was supposed to be a nonstop adventure, a dream come true, but life is not meant to be predictable. The moment you think you have it all figured out, reality slaps you across the face and wakes you up.
My parents got a project to live with a civilization off the coast of the Philippines. They told us they would be gone for two months. Two months passed, then four months, eight months, then a year went by and still silence.
They weren't employed by one formal company, being freelancers. The magazine company, they were doing the story for, requested a search and rescue team but their efforts were fruitless. My brother and I became orphans. From a life full of excitement to a life of sorrow in what felt like seconds.
I was thirteen when I lost them and my life as I knew it. My brother, who had just turned eighteen, become my official guardian and the provider of our now much smaller family. He would often work three jobs to pay rent and feed us. I dropped out of school to work part-time to help him, which he hated. It caused much strain on our relationship. He was fed up with the fact that I couldn’t finish school and that he wasn’t making enough money to support us.
One night, Anthony told me he found a job that would allow me to go to school, but he wouldn’t be able to be home often, and by often he meant never. He left me a letter, money, and newspaper clippings of apartments close to the new high school I would be attending.
I was sixteen when I started to live on my own and I now attend high school like I any other teen doing average teen girl things. I am currently 19 and I guess this is my life now.