Netania Martinez: Everything different – 2. Platz

2020 was a lot. For some reason, 2020 was thought of some special year. And for the most part of it, it was but it came with a lot of hardship as well. 2020 took and gave many opportunities. COVID helped me experience many new things. There were some moments where I was so grateful and happy for my family and there were other moments where I wish that I could just walk out of the house away
from them.
January 2020. New Years Eve was a holiday of excitement for us that year. Usually we were very excited for New Years but my family and I had big exciting things to look forward to in the year of 2020. My siblings were graduating, I was finishing up 6th, and my dad was retiring from the Army after almost 21 long years. 2020 was going to be our golden year. It was going to be a fun year we had many things to look forward to. My siblings’ prom, their graduation ceremony, my father’s
retirement ceremony, family visiting, parties, fun memories that were going to be made. It didn’t hit me that my brothers were going to be leaving me till after we got the letter that my brother was accepted into Norwich.
My parents were so happy, and my mom scared me. I thought that something bad happened. She opened the letter and read it and gasped and said, “Oh my gosh”. When she said, “Look” and gave the letter to my dad and then my dad read it. They just looked at each other and hugged so tight and started to cry. My mom cried more than my dad that day. I was so proud. And my other brother also got into Norwich. Norwich is the oldest military school in America. And both my brothers got
accepted. It was super cool. But last minute my oldest brother decided that the discipline of that College was not for him and that he didn’t want to go to Norwich. He said that he wanted to go a university in San Antonio.
And my sister’s original plan was to come live out here in Germany with my grandparents and study over here. She wants to work with special needs kids, she really loves to help them and to working with them. So I was going to be alone. It was definitely a sad thought to think about. Then COVID hit. It didn’t really affect anything in my life, at first. Then a couple weeks later my school district closed my
school and my siblings’ high school. We were excited because it was like a long weekend. Then we found out that we still had to do school but online. It was hard to adjust to doing school online but it became easier day by day. We started to find a loophole in our schoolwork. We realized that if we stay up all night doing work and getting ahead we could spend the rest of the morning sleeping and just relaxing.
So that’s what we started to do. We would do all of our work and then at night we would stay up doing some extra work. It was hard for me because I didn’t want to stay up doing work, I wanted to stay up on the phone with my friends. But then after our country finally got a grasp of COVID things started to open up again. School ended in May and in that month was when my parents told me that we were
moving. In that moment my world just kinda stopped. I didn’t know how to react. After about a minute of just sitting there, the thought of leaving really hit me. I was overwhelmed by tears, anger, and sadness.
So our journey to Texas started end of July of 2020. The move wasn’t as smooth as we expected.
With my father just being retired his pay wasn’t going through right away so we weren’t able to buy a home. So we decided to stay with our grandparents in Odessa Texas. We were only supposed to stay for a couple weeks. But what was supposed to be a couple weeks turned into 6 months. I was grateful for my grandmother giving us a place to stay because the whole situation was very stressful for both of my parents. As we were adjusting to our new environment and everything was looking good my mom dropped two bombs. She told me that she is pregnant and because she was pregnant at her age we were moving to Germany. But that was not all, my parents thought a separation would be good for them because they were not doing to good for a while. I was really hoping that they weren’t divorcing. I am really glad to say that it is not completely over. My dad is missing all of us and working harder than he ever has to get us back home. As much I love Germany, America is my home and can’t wait to go back.
I think what i missed the most though is my family being together. It doesn’t matter to me where we are as long as we are together. But if I had it my way I’d prefer we being all together in America.
‘Everything Different’ is a phrase that I’ve heard a lot. It’s a phrase that has also taught me a lot. It has taught me that everything that is secure and safe doesn’t always stay the way that we want it to.
Coming from a military family I had to learn from very early on to be resilient because of the many changes we had to face. From my father moving us every three years to having to live without him every other year. I can say that yes everything different was in my life even before the pandemic hit. I believe that is why I was able to cope with it with a different outlook. I am not saying it was all sunshine but I learned to stay focused in the blessings that were still had around us. I had a lot of family time with my fathers family and now with my mothers family. I learned how to find joy in the most difficult situation because I realized that there is still a lot to be thankful for. We were never without a roof over our head nor without food in our bellies.
I learned not to take the most smallest freedom we have for granted. I learned to appreciate my family and each friendship I am making and most I learned to see how God’s blessing is still all around us even when everything around us seem like it is all falling apart.
With the right attitude I believe everything different can be something very beautiful. Just like building a house, with the right foundation it’ll last and give you a beautiful home but with the wrong foundation it’ll all fall through, it won’t last.
‘Everything Different’ means fear, being uncomfortable, having to change, but it also means being able to grow and being able to find appreciation in every little area in your life.

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