I never wrote about my journey to America. Okay, scratch that. I did write about the first time I flew on a plane, junior year of high school, but that was about it (by the way, I got an A on that essay).
My story isn’t that exciting to begin with — mother got a job as a teacher in Texas, and one year later, my sister and I flew half way across the Pacific, all the way to California, and the rest is what they say…is history.
I have been living in the United States for 18 years. Two years in California, 7 years in Texas, and another 9 years back to California. In all those years, I’ve grown up to become an independent individual. I lost my accent, assimilated to the culture, and made a group of friends from all walks of life. But it wasn’t until recently that I became an American.
I realized that becoming a US Citizen has been my subconscious dream since I first stepped foot on US soil. I didn’t realize how difficult that journey was when I experienced it first hand. Waking up before the crack of dawn to line up at INS, carrying documents to get approved and signed. It was a trial on its own, and it went on for years.
In 2010, the pay off happened. I passed the test, took the oath, and waved that mini American flag with pride. I was showered with opportunities I didn’t have before. Voting was one of them, and the most exciting part for me was traveling with ease.
It’s been three years since the year that changed part of my life. Countless opportunities, a blessing on its own.