We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofBrianna Carias

The time I realized my life was good , my family and my memories, it was already too late. I realized how selfish and close minded I was, and not grateful enough. When my sister was alive, I felt alone and unhappy, even though my life was perfect., I had a good home, good friends, and my family was always so cheerful and kind towards me. I didn't give my family and friends the love and support the way they gave to me. I held on to my childhood trauma and carried it into my present, unable to be happy. I allowed my trauma to define me and never move past it.

The moment my sister left this world, is when I felt real pain and the true feeling of unhappiness. I felt like my whole life and future had just collapsed and I was unable to move on. I had so much anger and regret, wishing I appreciated every single moment with her and choosing gratitude instead of sadness in my life. After she passed away I withdrew from my family and friends, and I completely shut my mom out knowing that she was in more pain than I was. I was afraid to move on with my life. 

At that point I wanted to give up and just be alone. I remember my sister as a girl full of joy, who always motivated others to be the best version of themselves, even when she wasn't feeling the best. I remember how she wanted to achieve and accomplish  things in her life, she had goals and dreams, and now she isn't here to do that anymore. It's been hard but I try to push myself to fulfill those goals and dreams. I finally opened up to my family and close friends, and they've helped me so much. Since then, I strive to make great memories and enjoy my time with them.

Today,  I cherish my life because of my sister, family and friends, they are my motivation to keep on moving. I'm grateful for everything I have in life. I once read a quote online that left a lasting impact on me, “you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” I think it means to live your life and cherish every moment you have, because you don't know when that good thing in your life may leave. Do what your heart says and not what your judgmental brain tells you. 

© Brianna Carias. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.