Magnanimous People / Momentous Events
Throughout our lives there are certain circumstances that greatly affect us in such a way it can change who we are. For better or for worse, life happens! The funny thing is, anything can change you — a movie someone watches, or falling off a bike — these things are relatively insignificant, but they can affect a person. People, however, often have the biggest impact on our lives. There was one person who definitely changed me. His name was Julio Sanchez and sadly he passed away at a very young age on November 17th, 2005.
Julio and I were inseparable from the day we met. Though we were only nine years old we connected with each other and formed a lifelong bond of friendship that was truly special. Julio and I met at a time when I was going through a difficult period. Two years earlier, my father left our family and moved to Michigan with a woman he met “on line”. I reacted by being rude, obnoxious and difficult to get along with. You could say every kid had his/her little tantrums but I took the terror to a different level. That all changed when I met Julio. Everyone noticed the change almost immediately. My mother told me that my teachers were all very impressed. This change in my personality also resulted in a desire to learn and do better in school. The improved academic standing helped me to be placed in a middle school that offered a special program with advanced classes in math and science.
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Julio and I did not attend the same middle school. Sadly, Julio’s family moved to Long Island while I stayed in Queens. However, the increased distance did not take away from the intensity of our friendship. We still saw each other every other weekend and called each other more than once a day. After a while, we were together as more than just friends. By the age of eleven we both figured out what a [romantic] relationship was. It was the longest relationship I’ve been in throughout my life. Before Julio’s dealth, we were together as a couple for two years and as young as we were, it felt incredible.
I believe Julio and I got along so well because of the similarities in our lives. We understood each other. We had similar problems and likeminded thinking. We both grew up without father figures and we are both from Puerto Rican families. At the time, we believed that in order to succeed in life, we have to have a plan. So we created a plan that included each other, of course.
We both loved music so we planned on auditioning for LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts together. He wanted to try out for the instrumental program and I would try out for the vocal program. It was so perfect, we dreamed about it. Julio would sometimes say that throughout our four years at LaGuardia we would go through the normal ups and downs of teenage life. We would see other people and trying new things. We were trying to be smart about not rushing into a romantic relationship without having experienced other things and then having it all fall apart or resenting each other. In the end, however, we figured would come back to each other eventually.
After High School our plan entailed applying to colleges that had college majors in the subjects we both wanted to study. Julio knew he wanted to continue with music and even though it upset him, he understood that it wasn’t going to be my goal. I’ve always loved writing. I would sit in my room some days and just write little stories. (My teacher once assigned a three page short story and I wrote eight full pages without realizing it.) I’ve also loved to write poetry and was once published.
... use to. Don't get me wrong, I still love my life. But my world has been turned upside down. I ... doctor at my Easter break. Going to the surgery that day, I thought I was suffering from depression. I came out ... up. Up and out of my dark room. During the day I get so tired that I have to take naps ... , sleeping on average 12 hours a day. Sometimes I was bed-bound for full days. I didn't understand what was ...
When Julio passed away it felt as if my heart had shattered into a million pieces. I thought I would never sing or be happy again. For a while, I felt back into my old ways. I was often mean, aggressive and displayed a generally bad attitude. The only difference this time was that I was older, so those around me were less likely to tolerate this behavior. I was pretty difficult to live with until my birthday on January 28th, 2006. On that day, I tried to be happy and I think I faked it pretty well, but at the end of that day, I cried so much my tear ducts went dry. I wasn’t crying because of my birthday. I cried because someone I loved, or rather someone I was in love with, wasn’t there. Then I realized Julio would not have wanted me to live that way. He had taught me to be unafraid to show everyone who I really was and how wonderful I could be. He’d want me to be happy and I wasn’t doing that. From that moment I decided that I would do things in my life that would keep me happy. I was going to go for my dreams and not just the dreams that Julio and I shared, but my own dreams too. I was going to be my own person.
I did try out for LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and I am now applying to colleges where I could major in journalism and minor in music. Journalism is my true passion but music is something Julio and I shared and I would never give that up. Keeping that part of him alive makes me happy. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Julio. I can’t imagine where I would be today without having had someone so important in my life. It’s amazing to know that at such a young age someone could affect you so much. That’s life, I guess. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing about it.