It was like any normal Wednesday as an 8 year old. I would have never imagined that day would change my life. I slowly woke up due to the fact that it was winter and a cold air hit my arms, I shivered. My house in Madrid was an average 3-bedroom apartment. It had a colorful living room, kitchen, 3 small rooms and 2 bathrooms. As I started to leave my apartment, to go to school, I put on my cozy warm coat, and then I put on my blue hat and my mittens. Our school was very close to my house, so we always went walking. I took a deep breath as I felt the extremely cold air hit my arms. I could see the white vapor in the sky. The trees danced with the wind. I started walking through the street with my mom and sister and heard the faint crunching sound of my boots stepping on the dead leaves. The small one-way street was packed with cars, of people trying to look for a place to park on the busy street. We walked for 10 minutes until we arrived at the school.
I ran into the small school, with only two classrooms in each generation, each classroom of about 30 people. I raced up the stair to get to my classroom, class 2B. I sat on my usual desk in the back next to my best friend Lucia. She had a blue sweater, which made her blue eyes shine and her hair as long as tree branches and as blond as the sun was tied in a messy ponytail. After hours of school, we finally had lunch. Lunch lasted for about 1 hour. 30 minutes for playing outside with your friends, and 30 minutes to eat in the cafeteria, since we were the small ones we ate first. We raced out onto the playground along with other friends. All the boys and girls of my classroom started playing police and robber, me as one of the robbers. We raced across the fields laughing and jumping. After more learning, school ended and I waited outside for my mom to pick me up.
When it was time to have dinner my parent’s faces looked ghostly. I went into the kitchen and sat down. “What’s wrong?” I asked intrigued.
“We have something to tell you” They said, their faces as blank and empty as a night sky with no stars. My sister and me waited patiently for the answer. “We might be moving to México.” They continued. No one said a word. “We don’t know if we will move, so you can’t say anything.” They finished. A small tear fell down my face; we just stood there, not really knowing what to do. At 8 years old I had to leave my family, my friends and everything I had ever known. I looked down; my sister was paralyzed, her mouth forming an O. That dinner was as soundless as an empty street. That night I fell asleep hoping that it was some kind of misunderstanding, that maybe it was just a bad dream. But it wasn’t.
A couple of weeks passed and it was hard for me not to tell my friends. So then one day I did, I told them. Some covered their faces and others started crying, I did too. After a couple of months after the big news, my parents said that it was final we were actually going. The move was going along faster than expected, at the end of February my dad had to go to México to work. The good news was that we were going to finish the school year. So we were going to move in June. My aunt an uncles were also very sad; they promised we would talk on Skype, a promise they didn’t keep. We decided to go to the school ASFM, which is when the second problem appeared.
ASFM was an all-English school, a language we didn’t really know about. The intense English classes started. We knew some English, but not a lot. In school we only had one hour of English class a day, which wasn’t enough for us to be at the level of the school.
“Are you awake?” I asked my sister as I tried to fall asleep.
“Yes, I can’t sleep,” she replied with a tired voice.
“I couldn’t hold it anymore, I told my friends that we are moving to México.” I blurted embarrassed, that I had broken my promise.
“Its okay, I also told them,” she informed with a small grin.
A small smile appeared in my face. “Do you want to go?” I asked intrigued by the answer.
“Well... I think the choice has been made for us,” she replied with a sad voice.
“But, if you had a choice would you go?” I insisted, with a small sigh.
“I don’t want to leave my friends and our family. But, I want to discover a new place and meet new people,” she whispered. At that moment there was a part of me that wanted to go to México. I wanted to meet new people, make new friends. Learn about different cultures and discover a new place and continent. Maybe going to México won’t be as bad as it seemed like before.
Before I knew it June had come, it was time to move. The house was like a labyrinth full of boxes and luggage everywhere. If we were packing it meant I would have to say goodbye to my friends.
The last day of school was upon us, which meant that it was time to go to Mexico. Before going to the airport and leaving the classroom, all of my friends and classmates started hugging me and before we knew it we made an enormous group hug. Some looked sad, other started crying, I was crying. I whipped off my tears and I started leaving the classroom, I turned around and smiled at my classmates and friends for the last time.
My dad waited at the airport with balloons as big as the moon and flowers as red as strawberries. That summer we mostly stayed in Monterrey, getting the house ready and putting all of the furniture in its place. Since this house was much bigger than the one in Spain, we also had to buy a lot of new furniture.
In a blink of an eye the first day of school was upon us. I jumped out of bed and raced into the bathroom to grab my clothes. The t-shirt was the color of the clouds and the pants as red as a ladybug. I was excited and I wanted to meet new people. Spain seemed like a far away memory. I was excited and ecstatic, but at the same time I was a bit scared.
I got all my stuff and went to school, the first day of school passed. Making friends was hard; the people there were very different from me. They already had their friends and they didn’t seem to like to meet new people. I finally made my first friend, but she wasn’t like me, she cared a lot about how people thought, she was very girly and her favorite topic of conversation was talking about other people. For me that was very strange, the people in Spain didn’t care about how people thought about them and their favorite thing to do was play outside.
I started going to soccer practice to meet new people and talk to other girls. Since there was a cafeteria, unlike in my other school everyone brought money and bought their food from there. While my mom packed my food, the things I ate normally in my house. But people said that my food was weird and that it was disgusting. I felt very lonely and very sad. I started eating in the bathroom so people won’t say mean things about the things I ate. To try to fit and make friends with the other girls I got all of the money I had been saving up and used it on cafeteria food, to be like the other people.
In the classes it wasn’t any easier, since everything was on English I got bad grades and didn’t understand lots of the things I was being taught. After school I had to go to the teacher for her to teach me more about what we were learning. But the worst part was in Spanish class, when we were learning about the Spanish independence. People started looking at me weird, since in the books it said very mean things about Spanish people and what they did to the Mexican natives. Some boys started saying go away Spanish girl and mean stuff.
That year I was jumping from friend to friend trying to find someone nice, or at least normal. Other days I just sat alone and started eating my food not wanting to deal with anyone. I started being more silent, less talkative and I cared a lot about what people thought about me. That year was the hardest year of my life.
I decided to write about this so people can understand how hard it is to be someone new, especially in ASFM. Being new is never easy, people already have their friends and they ONLY want to be with them. They don’t give other people a chance to show how their are and actually get to know them. This experience made me change emotionally; back in Spain I was very happy and a bit crazy. But people here were much more serious and they cared a lot about what people thought about them. I realized that life isn’t always rainbows and flowers, that everyone has experienced a bad or hard time in their life, but eventually we all get through it. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Coming here also gave me lots of good things, I learned English very well and I discovered a new country. Before this experience made me a sadder and quiet person, but now that I look back at it, this experience has made me grow. Now I am more aware about life and that even if we are going through a hard time, we will always get through it.
What my parents figured out the next year is that I had been put in an all-Mexican classroom; when they were suppose to put me in an international classroom, mistake of the office. The next year I was put in an international class and I made lots of new friends from all over the world, some Korean, some from the U.S. and some Mexican. The years after that international people went and came and I was their friend. It wasn’t until 7th grade which I had most of my friends from México. This year has been the best year from all of the 6 years that I have been living in México. When you go to a new place you have to adapt and change like them, for the good and for the bad. When I was 8 I had the biggest change in my life, I am delighted that my family and I made that change.