Safe Haven

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

When most people think back to their early childhoods, they tend to remember the play dates, scraped knees, and carefree feeling that comes with being a kid. For some reason, my mind is mostly filled with the memories of drowsy, everlasting car rides in the backseat of my parents’ minivan. The sky is always a perfect swirl of cotton candy pink and a soft, fading purple, with the sun slowly setting before it. The trees on the side of the road are quickly pixelating into blurry, green splotches; they can’t seem to keep up with us. I can still feel the gentle acoustics of “Yellow” by Coldplay filling the air and replacing the worries that travel with us. Nobody says a word—the moment is too serene to be broken with speech.

This unassuming minivan was my little safe haven. Yet the relaxation, stability, and euphoria those tranquil trips on the road had offered quickly vanished at the sight of the eviction notice taped on our front door. I felt my stomach grow tight and my lungs gasp for a sliver of fresh air unpolluted with the poignant stench of anxiety and displacement. I shut my eyes and tried to pretend like I’d never seen the overdue bills, heard the landlord’s frequent and impatient knock on the door, or felt the cold water...

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