Cherish Your Family More Than The Holiday Season

Living Halfway Across the World From My Parents Taught Me To Cherish Them More Than Just The Holiday Season

Take it from a girl who only see her family once every two years.

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The holidays are creeping on us already. How did 2018 go by so fast? If you know me you know that I love the holidays. The winter wonderland snow, the Christmas songs, the smell of pine and most importantly MULLED WINE. However, it's also my favorite time of year because usually, I'd be able to see my family halfway across the world.

If you've met me before you've probably already heard the family spiel. I moved to America at a pretty young age without them and was housed and taken care of by one of my best friend's mother, which I am very thankful for. Without her, I would have never been able to navigate my life in America at the age of 16.

Ever since moving here, its always been hard to go home. I'm either financially stricken or I have obligations to work or school. I try to go back every two years, but even then I only have at most one month to spend with my family. A month may sound like a lot of time with your parents, for me, it's never enough.

Don't get me wrong, after a month in the same home with my family, I usually want to rip my hair out but that doesn't mean I don't want them around me. I've grown comfortable being independent but sometimes I do yearn for the emotional support.

I miss having my mother cooking for me all the time, my dad taking me out on trips, my step-father arguing with me and my brother just sitting there playing his video games in the same room ignoring my existence. Like every other family, we have our moments but because we're destined to be so far apart we cherish each other more than ever when the time comes to meet up.

The holiday seasons shouldn't be the only time you reminisce about the times you've spent together but it should be every day. The month before I moved to the States, I was 16 and eager to move out. After being in high school for three months in America, I called my mom crying and told her how much I missed everyone back home.

I spend most of the holidays crashing my friends family gatherings and the thing I envy the most is that everyone but me was able to spend time with their family during the holidays. One year I cried about it, but it made me think about my behavior towards my friends and family. With the short time I have to see them, I should treat them better because they are the ones who have supported me throughout my life and I hate ending a good time on a bad note. I guess being apart from them was good for us after all.

Cherish the time with your family not just during the holidays but all year round. Treat them kindly because they deserve nothing less than the best of you.







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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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