Growing up in Clackamas, Oregon, I was surrounded by many families who were very well off. I used to get frustrated driving my 18 year-old Pontiac to school when many of my friends had brand new Acuras or BMWs. I’ve always loved my family, but thought that it was unfair that we didn’t have the luxuries of those around us. As it turns out, I was quite naive
My biggest “Ah Hah” moment came my sophomore year in college.
I met one of my closest friends that year, and through learning about his past, and where he came from, my perspective greatly changed. In the broader scheme of things, I realized I was very fortunate (and now thankful) to have had what I had: a house in a nice neighborhood, a car to call my own, the ability to go to college. I noticed I had quite possibly the best family I could ask for. When hearing about my friend’s childhood, he described not remembering most of it because he didn’t want to. Between fights, divorces, siblings running away, suicides of extended family, etc, his childhood sounded like a never-ending nightmare. I couldn’t imagine not having the childhood I had. Everything was perfect, everyone was happy and healthy, and we always lived comfortably.
Since Sophomore year, I’ve put so much thought into everything, considering it in the wider, more-appropriate spectrum. Not only did I get an awesome, fun friend, but he gave me a completely different outlook on life, something I will never be able to repay him for.