In partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama's #BetterMakeRoom initiative, we are publishing your awesome college admissions essays -- THE pieces of writing that helped you #ReachHigher in your education -- leading up to College Signing Day on MTV News. If you're a high school senior graduating in 2016, submit your essay to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and age.
It's been nearly six years since I last saw my father. Of course, now it doesn't hit me the way it used to: the swelling of my eyes with tears, the heartache that seemed to last longer than the few seconds he took to leave us that night in April of 2009, and the emotional scarring that took over my whole system.
Since then, I've gone from a straight-A student to the girl with the alphabet on her report card -- the crazy repercussion of someone walking out of my family. The pain didn't last long, because it turned into anger and then it turned into the attitude that dictated, "I am better than he is, and I can prove it."
But while I didn't seem to excel academically, I did at my own at-home endeavors -- with my writing. My writing wasn't the old lovey-dovey type of structure anymore. It was deeper, more refined; I put more of myself into the work. My writing became me and I became it.
It didn't take long for me to really appreciate the art of creating a dystopian world. Maybe there would be a love interest in the female protagonist's life, and maybe she would save the world. Until then, I'll be the female protagonist and I'll try to save myself, my world.
So, it's been six years since my father left and I became a writer -- not just any writer, but a fine writer, a writer who can conquer the world her characters live in. A writer who can manipulate setting, metaphor, idiom, and more in order to be the star of her own novel. Because isn't that what writing is all about? To become the characters, because that means someone can relate, even if they're not the writer? Six years have passed and I've written (or at least started) more novels than I can count on two hands, and I've become better than the person my father was six years ago.
Part of me is glad he left. Maybe my life wouldn't have ended up this way if he hadn't, or maybe it would've. Another part of me wishes he'd never had the audacity to leave us in the first place. Life goes on, is the old saying, and it rings true in my head and heart as I now have my "new" family: my stepfather, my extremely better off mother, my older brother, and my younger sister. This family encourages my writing and graciously gives me constructive criticism when I ask for it. This is the true meaning of family, the group of people who encourage you when you need a small push in the "write" direction. That's where my family pushed me, and I thank them.
I also thank my father for leaving six years ago, because without his help, my will and mind-set might have never changed for the better. I might not have found the resources I held deep inside me -- my heart and my brain -- and I might not have found the strength to begin the transformation from child to young adult. It's the second best thing that's ever happened to me.