Angelica Gonzalez Lopez

"This is a big chance for you to change our life, to have something better", she said, while we were lying on the terrace of my aunt’s house, looking at the airplanes cross the sky.

That was how everything began, as the compass showed us a different North and separated our way. I think that neither my mom nor I were aware of the great significance that the word "change" would have. I mean, when you decide to move to a different country to find a "better life", you don't realize how much your life could change. You have an idea, but you can't imagine the big difference that exists between your idea and your future reality, because your mind is focused on other kinds of worries, on other points, on your expectations, your dreams. And it’s as well because with this idea, this little idea, you take the first and big step, the step that triggers off a wave of events that will change not only your life, but also the life of people that you love, forever.

What can I say? When I think about that, it is like sitting in the middle of a dark room watching a movie on a big screen, a high speed movie with slow motion in specific parts, a movie whose  hero is you. That is the only moment that I look directly to the past and see clearly each moment, each change, each open and closed door, each success, failure, joy, or sadness, each dream come true or faded, every win and loss and with them my soul can feel clearly again each emotion. When I'm lost in this flash-back, one part of me remembers something that I heard, a theory that says that most of your destiny is written, and that makes me smile. It's unbelievable that destiny had decided that the dream that began as a search for a better life, developed as a search to regain what we once had; the opportunity to be together again. It’s ironic, isn’t it? The truth is I don't like to think about this part of the theory, I prefer to think that although a part of your life is written, you have another part that you control to change your story. That sounds great, doesn’t it? So, If you think about it for a moment, you realize that if this is true, it is not so bad, because you can take your own decisions and rewrite your adventure or at least have your special chapters.

That was exactly what we did, we chose to fight, to swim upstream and keep trying, not to give up and finally, after 16 years full of individual and shared battles, we did it! One winter day of 2013, I arrived in the United States of America and both our dreams came true.  I will never forget that moment, the happiness in my mom’s face and in my soul, the eternal hug, the tears of joy, the amazing sensation of freedom and serenity because we were sure that in that moment and in the future never again we will be separated, fearing the big question "When will we be together again?". In that moment we realized that we could overcome all obstacles and achieve all our dreams.

So, this is my story, this is how life taught me  that you must to believe, believe in yourself, in your instinct, in your dreams, in your heart. You must believe in the people that you love, and try, keep trying, fight, research your options, not care if several doors close in your face, not care about the falls, bad feelings, bad moments, the people around you who remind you  of the impossible, the obstacles and the injures. All the negatives must stay with you, not to hurt you but to make you strong. Just one wish, one dream can be stronger than all the obstacles together. I believe that happiness must be your way of travel, not your destination, and that you can find it in each little detail and enjoy it. That is the real secret of life, how you live each step, each second, because when you touch your dream with your hands and look back over your journey, then happiness invades your whole soul, you say thanks and take the first step of your next adventure.

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