Street Lights

Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors helped you to grow?


I didn’t understand what street lights were until I was about eight. Still, some of my earliest memories are of street lamps. Growing up, I clearly remember seeing blurry beacons of light suspended in the dark. In the daytime, the seemingly useless tall poles lining streets never looked the same, so I didn’t make the connection.

Tired, I open my heavy eyes to my dad unbuckling my car seat, pulling me out of my mom’s car and throwing me over his shoulder. I hear him spitting words at my mom, but quietly, as to not wake me. My mom reciprocates this treatment, and the exchange continues on. I just begin to close my eyes again. Suddenly I am jerked out of my attempt at sleep as my dad plops me down in my car seat in his car, and slams the door shut. I crawl out and watch out the rear window of his blue convertible at the conversation. Their voices rise; their bodies show aggression, and my mom sobs. At this point I start to cry, as verbal aggression is normal, but it’s unnerving when they get physical, and it scares me. Then, my dad abruptly turns around and returns, buckles me in, and drives off quickly. Still, I stare out the back at my mom, who stands in the middle of the street, tearfully waving goodbye. I stare until she is so...

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