I Hated California


Interviewee:Brittany Lealao
                 from Missouri
Interviewer:Amanda Bautista

 "...just me and my little sister. We're so much alike. 
 She thinks I'm immature for my age, and I think she's
 too mature for her age."

      Tears rolled down my face as I left my friends and home behind. I left my best friend of nine years there and my grandparents. All those memories we shared together will never be forgotten. Leaving her there was like leaving a piece of me behind.  It was even harder to leave my grandparents. Even though they did pass away, it was hard to know that they were buried halfway across the country. They were the ones who raised me from birth, and it just felt wrong leaving them behind.

      Originally I was born here, in California. When I was three years old, me and my family moved to Missouri. I had mixed feelings coming to a new place.I was nervous to leave a life that I had built when I was little. Everyone knew who I was in Missouri, so coming here was like a fresh start. Over there the streets were so calm and quiet. It is basically all flatland. The neighborhood kids would play sports together, everyone knew each other in my neighborhood.  The summers were so hot we weren't able to go outside. We would get really bad heat waves. Winters were extremely cold. School would be canceled because of snow days. When we first moved here, I hated California. I was really depressed. My life in Missouri is totally different than my life here.

      Growing up in Missouri, my life was slow-paced. Everyone was mostly focused on sports and family. I grew up with three sisters and one brother. I remember when my little brother, Zack, was born. We were all in the room with my mom while she was giving birth. Once we all saw that it was a boy, my dad passed out. After four girls, he finally had a son. My dad always taught us to stick with your family and never turn your back on them. That's exactly what we do.I have a very close relationship with my family. But I'm closest to my little sister, Kola. She comes to me for everything. She tells me her boy problems, and I give her advice. It's weird how we're so close, but yet we're four years apart. Just me and my little sister. We're so much alike. She thinks I'm immature for my age, and I think she's too mature for her age. My family has gone through so many struggles, but in the end it has only made us stronger.I would never take my relationship with my family for granted because I know that there a re people who don't have the chance to have such a strong relationship with their family. I feel very blessed  and lucky to have a family that I'm relly close to.

      Moving to California, has definitely affected my life. I have become side-tracked from my goals. Instead of training like I would be doing in Missouri, I'm doing homework or hanging out with my boyfriend. My life used to be focused only on sports, but here everyone's on myspace or doing their own thing. I'm hanging out with my friends more. I don't want to get sidetracked from my future goals though. I want to reamin on the girls varsity basketball team all four years of high school and get a basketball scholarship. Moving to California hasn't helped me to better reach my goals.

     As we moved back, I started playing on a basketball league with all juniors and seniors. Being the only freshman, I didn't get a lot of playing time. I worked my butt off and trained the whole summer. I remember that one tournament, I started the game. I was announced MVP of that tournament. This tournament in my life helped me to work hard for everything you want. I now know no matter how old you are, even if you're the youngest person, you can still make a difference.

       I didn't know anyone at my new school just my older sister. But making new friends was easy for me, since I had joined the basketball team.  I started hanging out with the basketball click at school. Joining Yearbook and Journalism helped me to make a variety of friends, not just athletes. Making friends was easy for me, but being able to trust them was even harder.

      I miss living in Missouri, but I never plan on moving back there. I want to go back to visit my grandparents' graves sites, but not to live. My family is stopping me from moving back because they all live here. I f I moved back I would be the only one living in Missouri, all by myself.  I believe that we moved here for a reason, and it was to be closer to my dad's side of the family. And to grow up as one family because in Missouri we were so so separated. I'm just really happy that everything worked out the way it did. We love it here in California, and we're never moving back to Missouri.