I’ll go ahead and just give a summary of my life. That seems to be what most people do for these. Let's start from square one. I was born in Ohio on January 21, 2001. I was the first child of four. My brother was born in 2002. Our family lived in Ohio for the next few years. Those vague memories consist mainly of us visiting various relatives, who all lived nearby. In 2003, my family moved to Tokyo, Japan, where my dad traveled to fill a strategic need for his accounting firm, Ernst & Young. I still to this day have no idea what it is exactly that my dad does there. He’s tried to explain it before, but I still don’t completely understand. Nonetheless, during our time in Japan, my family took advantage of the close proximity of the other Asian countries, and traveled frequently. On top of all that, we would go back to Ohio every summer. When we traveled, we would stay in five-star luxury resorts and fly on nice planes in first class. Back then, I thought that all resorts and planes were that nice. It was really an incredible experience, and we were very fortunate. A lot of people wish they could do that in their lifetime but never get around to doing it. It’s the kind of thing you’d find on a bucket list. The only issue is that I was younger so the memories aren’t as clear as more recent things. We lived in Japan for seven years, spending almost all of that time sightseeing and traveling the world. But in 2008 my youngest brother and sister were born, and things slowed down. With little kids around, traveling wasn’t ideal anymore.
By 2010 my dad’s work in Japan was finished, and we moved to California. We settled in to a house in Palos Verdes. My brother and I were excited to be back in the US. After being here for nine years, I can safely say I love this country, but I don’t think I realized how lucky I was to be living the life I had in Japan. Once we go settled in, I entered the public school system. I went to an elementary school called Vista Grande. Near the end of my time there, I began getting in trouble more frequently for stupid things I often did on impulse. This continued until around the end of eighth grade.
I remember middle school most clearly. I went to a school called Ridgecrest. It was a pretty rough time for me since I was getting in trouble so much. I was in the principal’s office so consistently that he became something of a friend! At a certain point he just stopped punishing me, and instead began to advocate for me. The issue was that I have ADHD and I kept doing stupid impulsive things like: fighting people, throwing rocks, saying something mean to some sensitive kid, not paying attention in class, pushing, shoving, or making the PE teacher mad on purpose. I was very impulsive. But with my parents and principal’s help, I stopped getting in as much trouble by 8th grade. I still got called in to the office more often than my peers, but it was less than previous years. By the end of middle school, I had much better control over my impulses than at the start. I also learned how to not get caught doing stupid things, which always helps of course.
Socially, I’ve never been one to surround myself with a huge crowd, rather, I have a smaller number of friends, but they’re really good ones. I made a solid number of friends during middle school. But there are three friends of mine that have been with me for a long time. They are still by far my best friends. I’ve known them for around nine years now. We try to hang out in person as much as we possibly can. We also all live less than 5 minutes from each other, so that’s really helpful. A lot of my best memories are with those friends.
I was going to continue through the public school system for high school, but my parents decided that Penn High, where I was going to go, wouldn’t be a good fit for me. Instead, they looked for private schools, and RHP ended up being the one I went to. I didn’t want to be here at first, I wanted to go with my friends to Penn. But this school has great academics and I play baseball here with a good deal of success, which makes the experience worthwhile.
During the summer between 10th and 11th grade, I had surgery on my chest. I had something called pectus excavatum. It’s where the rib cage grows inwards as your body grows. My case was very bad, and my heart became displaced and my lungs compressed. To clarify, this is something that I had lived with for years. It really became prevalent when I started getting taller and growing more in general. But last year was when I finally got the surgery. We went to the second best surgeon in the entire US. Because my case of pectus was so bad, I had to have not one but two bars put in my chest under the rib cage. The bars stay in for three years. The recovery took a very long time, but by the end of the summer, the overwhelming pain was gone for the most part. I still was limited in my activity, but I was able to get up and move around some more.
By last year, life starting picking up a bit. I got my car and my license soon thereafter. And over the summer I got a job so that I can save up enough money to buy out the car at the end of the lease. I need a lot of money. But that’s just a short little summary because this speech is already long enough.
Now we have made it to the end. I’ve lived a very amazing life. And almost no one knows that about me. Still. That’s what sort of blows my mind. I’ve known my classmates for three years now, and they know barely anything about the life I’ve lived. That or they’ve heard snippets and forgotten. And I’m sure it goes both ways. I probably know next to nothing about their lives. But through these speeches, often times we learn much more about the people we see everyday. We learn things we had no idea ever happened to them. So on that note, now that you’ve hear all about my life, I’ll wrap this thing up with a general summary.
I have lived in Ohio, California, and Tokyo, Japan. I’ve traveled all over the world. I’ve had great friends and a family that I can count on until the day I die. I’ve got a nice car and a great place to call home. I’ve even got a great education. I’ve had many challenges, and I’ve overcome them. I really am incredibly fortunate, and just as grateful.