My journey began sixteen years ago, when my brother moved to the United States. My immediate family and I followed him a few years later. People tried to explain what it would be like on the other side of the ocean but failed to do so. It is like opening Pandora’s box. Coming to America affected my family and me in some bad ways and some good ways. How much I missed my extended family and friends in the beginning! The people I used to see everyday were not near anymore. All of the coffee dates after school and the gossip about boys, was over the internet on Skype.Order now
After few months the everyday Skype’s went from once a day to once a week and then to once a month. We all knew the reality of a continent separation. I get to talk to family members from time to time, and when my birthday comes around the phone starts ringing at 5:00am due to the seven-hour difference its always bitter sweet. The only family member we still see on Skype and talk to everyday is my uncle (my mother brother). My mom to this day drinks her coffee every morning with him as he eats his lunch on the other side of the computer screen 5,112 miles away.
The nostalgia lessened as I started to adapt to my new surroundings. Learning English was not an easy task. The biggest help in becoming bilingual were my new friends. A lot of the kids in school used to make fun of me on a regular basis since I couldn’t understand them. When I started meeting people and becoming friends with some of them, my English improved. My new friends were not making fun of me when I couldn’t understand something and when I said something wrong, they stopped me and corrected me so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes again and get laughed at by someone else.
I have had very embarrassing moments due to my lack of English, but one tops them all. One night after finishing watching a movie in the theater, my best friend and I were walking to her car recapping the funniest moments from the movie and I instead of saying “cracking up” said “crapping up”. That mistake still haunts me to this day, as my friend will never let that one go. When I first started school it was mandatory for me to take ESL classes, therefore I expanded my vocabulary and improved my proper English a lot.
Learning English has opened many of doors for me. When I graduated from Olentangy Orange High School I began my first job at Crystal Classics along with my mother as a gift wrapper in the warehouse part. After the Christmas season started slowing down, people started getting laid off. People noticed I was a hard and dedicated worker so they offered to move me to the office part and try customer service. Moving to customer service was nerve racking for me as English was my second language and I had to deal with customers on the phone.
In the beginning it was very frustrating for me and for the customers because I couldn’t understand them and I had to keep asking them to repeat themselves and a lot of the elderly people had trouble understanding me. After few months and a lot of practice, I started feeling more comfortable with myself. The company saw potential and progress in me so they decided to give me more responsibilities and trusted me with taking care some of the main vendors. All of the progress and hard work was paying off.
Moving to America did turn my world upside down but then it all came into place, slowly, but it did. I have experienced a lot of ups and downs in the past seven years, but they were all worth it. Missing my friends and family was not one of the easiest things, but then I met new friends in America, who helped me learn English. My friends, and education helped me get my job. I like to believe things happen for a reason and this chapter in my life has definitely proven that to me.