Giving up

Giving up can be the easiest things to do. Take right now as an example. I could just stop writing this article, I could drop out of school because its stressful, I could go work at a minimum wage job and stay there for the rest of my life because everything else in the world is “too hard to do.” Instead, I keep pushing forward. Why is that?  

There are so many people in this world that have had so many times in their lives where they wanted to give up, so why don’t they? For example, my grandparents Dora and Jose Villarreal, who came here from Mexico. Dora came to the United States from Mexico at just the age 8. Now you can image moving from one place to another, but from one country to another! That’s a big change, especially for someone at such a young age. Since Dora was only eight, she knew no English and only Spanish.  

It was very hard for her to adjust to the learning styles in America especially since she didn’t even know the language. “I didn’t know how to speak the language. All I knew was how to multiply in 2nd grade and no other kids did. Since I didn’t know the language, I got moved down two grades.” Dora states. School is stressful, but not knowing the language makes It even harder.  

Moments like this made Dora feel confused considering she was only eight years old. She began to pick up on English thanks to one kind teacher. “My teacher would stay after school hours with me to teach me English by using flash cards.” This one teacher’s actions gave Dora hope as her education continued. Once Dora began to learn English, she was able to move up two grades.  

Through all this, Dora was very independent and responsible when it came to her school life. She would walk to school day to day and her parents never had to get involved with her school life. I recently asked Dora if she could say one thing to her younger self what would she say? She responded with, “I would tell my younger self to be careful, to be aware of everything around me. You must protect yourself.” I think this was a great thing to say to your younger self because people may come and go but you need to protect yourself. 

I also interviewed Jose, who moved to America from Mexico around the age of 12. Jose found school fun but challenging. “It was hard, but it wasn’t a big deal. We just did what we had to do” Jose states. I think this was perfectly said because I believe every person out there in the world today is struggling with something, but you just must keep living your life. Life moves on and you can’t spend forever thinking about something that will not matter in a year from now. My final question for Jose was, “If you could tell one thing to your younger self, what would it be?” Jose responded with, “Everything will work out.”  

After interviewing Dora and Jose Villarreal, I have finally found an answer to my question. “Why don’t we just give up right now?” We don’t give up because we love our self too much to give up. Some people may call it selfish or self-absorbed, but I find that loving yourself is the number one step into being truly happy. In order to love your friends or family, you must love yourself to have true unconditional love.  

I feel that we don’t give up right now because if we do then we would be letting our younger/ current selves down. The version of us that worked so hard to get here would not just have given up. In conclusion, the number one person we have been fighting for without even realizing it, was ourselves.