Turning Point

This essay was written on September 20, 1998 while I was in 10th grade at Winchester Thurston School for English class with Dr. Eric Zissu.

Probably the most important turning point in my life happened in 1992. At this time, I was eight years old and living in Williamsport Pennsylvania. My dad had a well-paying job at Anchor Darling Valve Company, I was attending a parochial school and I thought life was just great. At the time we lived in a large four-story house with a separate three-story garage and an acre of forest for a backyard. I had a ten-speed bicycle and I would often go bicycling with my friends at the nearby cemetery. No-one ever objected to this, in fact people would often have picnics at the top of this hill at the cemetery. I guess the only things I ever complained about were the constant music lessons and practice sessions my parents subjected me to.

Life was great until my dad came home one day with bad news. As it turned out, his well-paying company was downsizing and they had to let him go. Well, I didn’t think much of it at the time. So he’d get a new job, I thought. Well anyway, he took out his resume and started mailing away. Oh well, life goes on. Well soon enough companies began to take interest in him and he decided to join a company called Cellular One (which would later be bought by ATT and become ATT Wireless Services). So what was the catch? Well, Cellular One’s offices are based in Pittsburgh which is not exactly an easy commute from Williamsport. Carlos, we will have to move, but it won’t happen for a while. Well, make sure you finish the school year and besides, I still have to look for a job in Pittsburgh too, my mom told me. Somehow, although I knew my parents had many friends in Williamsport, they didn’t seem too discouraged. My dad had not started his new job yet, when I began objecting. At this time, I was doing well in my third grade classes and looking forward to having the really nice fourth grade teacher that everyone was talking about. I also had a brown belt in Karate and I would earn my black belt soon if we didn’t move. I didn’t want to leave my home, my school and my friends. Despite all my complaining, I had actually come to expect the move. This wasn’t the first time we moved. I was born in Chicago Illinois and I lived there for four years. When I was four, my dad’s company moved him to Racine Wisconsin. After three years, we moved again, this time to Williamsport Pennsylvania and the house of our dreams. And now, after living in Williamsport for only two years, we were moving again. I had noticed a pattern and told my mother that the next time we moved I wanted to move to Montana. I said this because I figured we’d be moving again in about a year and Montana was a big place so we would probably move into another big house.

When the school year ended, Allied Van Lines Corporation came to move us from our beloved house in Williamsport to a tiny town house in Cranberry Twp., a suburb of Pittsburgh. I didn’t like Pittsburgh at first. I never really unpacked all my stuff because I knew we would move soon. I didn’t like my new school or the new music teachers my parents signed me up with. Eventually, we did move, but not to Montana. After less than a year in the town house, we bought a house in Cranberry. The house was not as big or well designed as our house was in Williamsport, but it was certainly bigger than the townhouse. Because I now had more space, I decided I could unpack more of my stuff. I still missed Williamsport but there was nothing I could do about it. Life went on. I made many friends at my school and got to do more things in Pittsburgh than I would have ever been able to in Williamsport. I learned how to ski and rock climb, things I became good at and still do today. I also suddenly had a deep appreciation for music. This was something I had never had, now all of a sudden, I actually practiced when I was supposed to (this probably had something to do with the new music teachers). I also took up karate again and eventually earned my black belt. I realized that Williamsport was actually a dull place to live in and the only things I really missed were my friends and the house. Before I knew it, we had lived in Pittsburgh for six years and although it may no be the best place to live in, it has opened up a whole world of opportunities to me. That was something I may never have gotten if I had stayed in Williamsport or if I had continued to move around.

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