I grew as a result of the changes and hardships

By Zoe Tabilio '23

A time when I experienced a personal transformation was when my parents divorced. My whole childhood I thought that I was going to go through life with my parents married and my family together. Before everything happened, I remember my friend in middle school telling me her parents were getting divorced, and I remember not even being able to imagine if that happened to me. About a year later, my parents broke the news to my brother and me that they were splitting up. It was a day that I will never forget. They told us on Easter morning, and my brother and I were sitting on the living room floor getting finished opening our Easter baskets. I was completely devastated and was clueless about how life would work after that moment. A while after that when everything became final with their divorce, my mother moved out and my dad stayed living in my childhood home. My parents made it my decision to decide how custody was going to work and where I wanted to live. I couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing them equally so I made the decision I was going to split the time in half. It was very stressful for me to switch back and forth between houses due to how much belongings I had to travel with for school and dance. It was very hard not having one solid place for all of my things, and I always felt very unsettled. After trying that, I came to the conclusion that going back and forth was putting too much stress on me so I picked my mom to stay with full time. I felt like I needed my mom more at the time growing up as a girl, and she also had more room for me to be able to stay in. Not only did I feel like I lost my dad, but I felt like I lost my brother too because he stayed with my dad full time. I still visited them but our relationships definitely changed since then. Two years later, I moved to New Jersey with my dad full time but the situation just reversed. Now, I don’t get to see my mom too much which is very difficult. All those changes I had to adapt to and hard decisions I had to make caused me to grow as a result. I wouldn’t be who I am today without learning the things I did or having to overcome those hardships.