When your childhood is one big life lesson

Being abandoned young made me who I am

Mia Alva, Editor in Chief

The past may be in the past, but it is still important. It has made me the person I am today. 

That person is someone who projects confidence and kindness. Someone who is organized and hard-working.

Most people who know me assume I got those traits from having two loving parents or being well-off.

But they are wrong. I got them through my life experiences. 

What most people don’t know about me is that my parents are divorced, my dad and I share a one-bedroom apartment, and I am not always happy. 

What they also don’t know is that I lived in Las Vegas for seven years, my mom left to live with her boyfriend in Mexico, and I had a very challenging time in middle school and high school.

Only being able to see my mom once a year since middle school ruined me.

My life story does not fit on a page, and I don’t have the mental capacity to share everything because I can’t seem to hold back the tears for long enough.

Suffice it to say that so much of my childhood was made up of life lessons that I had to overcome and learn the hard way. 

My experiences made me the person I am today and I am proud of that person.

After my mom left and my parents divorced, I had to step up and be more responsible. So, when I was 8-years-old, I had to learn how to organize myself, properly brush my hair, and live through every day knowing that not having my mom there was OK.

When I would start crying or I was having a hard time in life or school, my dad told me to prove everyone wrong with their perception of me and my dad. “Never give up,” he’d say. “Be strong.”

Those are the words I hold onto and hear in my heart when I am going through a tough time.

That is why everyone thinks I am so happy and positive: the smaller problems don’t affect me as much because I have overcome larger obstacles.

What happened to me 13 years ago and my struggles in the years after have gotten me to this point in my life. They made me me. 

Just as my parents’ arguments taught me to stay quiet when things escalated, the sadness and anger from my childhood taught me to speak up when it matters. That my voice is valid and deserves a place.

Writing always helped give me that voice. It made me feel heard. It is the reason why I am a journalist.

I pour love, sadness, joy and empathy into my stories and relish making other people heard through my work.

When I write, I feel free.