They say you never understand the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory
In 2012, full of optimism and expectation, I waved good bye to my peers wishing them the best for next year, where we would begin our first year of high school together. Jubilant with the feat of completing my primary education, I enjoyed the Christmas holidays holding amateur concerts starring my sister and me. We were completely oblivious to the steady decline of our finances, so we spent the rest of our holidays with the false confidence of continuing our education the following year.
Sparkling lights turned to fireworks as January dawned upon us and with the fresh scent of a new year came an icy wind of suspicion when I noticed my mother had not made any preparations for me to attend high-school. When the day of schools reopening drew near, my mother sat my sister and I down, informing us that we would not be able to go to school for a few weeks due to financial restrictions. I ran to my room with tears rolling down my face as my world seemed to shatter all around me. We were unable to keep the house and had to move to the ghetto where my grandfather resided. My first day there, I could see destitute people. Poverty filled the roads and noxious gasses slapped my face with bitter ridicule but little did I know this place would be the place where I would realize my potential and fall in love with the pursuit of knowledge.
Children roamed about the street aimlessly without shoes and tattered clothing. At first I felt distant from them and acted differently. That was pride, I thought I was better than everyone else because of the school I went to and where I came from oblivious to the fact that we were the same. My aunt formed a Hope for Children Program where children could come every day and eat after school and get help with homework. I shared the little knowledge that I had during many afternoon sessions that were filled with laughter and dry jokes. We nicknamed ourselves The Band of Misfits coined from a novel that we had read together.
One day as I was helping my aunt clean out the attic, I discovered a book entitled Advanced Level Physics I began to read it fervently. Its contents did not make much sense to me at that time, but I gained a sense of achievement as I managed to follow through worked out calculations and memorize laws. My love of astronomy had begun earlier as I would gaze upon the stars that burned brightly igniting a perpetual fire in my soul. My understanding of that love was opened through the book that I read.
Reflecting on all these events I realised that hope gives a person a positive aura that generates progressive action in your life. I had never felt such ecstasy in my life to the point that no words could truly describe the happiness I felt. God had not completely abandoned me and I concluded that if I had succumbed to the darkness in my soul, I would have not lived to see the day of my salvation. Just letting in a little bit of hope into my being pushed me through those dark and lonely nights where my only light was the stars. And these memories are indelibly etched in my mind. Optimism is the key to longevity for if one loses all hope, all that’s left is your ruin. This experience taught me that to hope for something better, faith that you are never alone, and love keeps the human being from total dissipation.