Ybeth Jimenez | Contributing Writer

On Nov. 15, 2015, my life changed for the better. When I came to the United States, I was visiting my daughter because she was sick. I felt that something was behind that, but she did not want to tell me. She was in the United States studying and living with some relatives that helped her, and where she was supposed to live until she finished her program.

Suddenly one day, they decided not to have her in their house anymore. This made me make a decision to stay with her, and renounce my life in my country. The decision to move to the United States instead of stay in Venezuela brought many changes in my life and it has been a challenge to my education, family, and personal security.

The decision to start studying was my daughter’s idea because I really did not want to study. I did not see myself listening to classes again, but here I am. It has not been easy at my age to adapt to this new life. There is confusion and sometimes frustration that I feel when I am not able to understand something in class or because I miss too many things from my country.

It has been a big challenge, but if I were in my country, I could not help my daughter to realize her dream to be a nurse. I also have to be thankful for this big opportunity that God gave me to be someone in life. When I finish my studies, I will achieve my goal.

Since I came, my family is closer; we do not have many friends. We do things together like play bingo, cards games, and watch movies every weekend. I consider this the best moment for all of us. We support each other when we feel sad or mad at something. Also in the house duties, I receive more help from my kids now.

Contrary in Venezuela, we have a lot of friends and all my family are there. When we were there, my son was going to my sister’s house every weekend, my husband with his friends or family, and I to my Yoga classes. We did not spend much time together.

Every Sunday, my parents prepared food for all the family. This is one of the aspects more difficult to me because it is hard to stay away from the people I love the most.

Another remarkable change is our personal security. I see my kids are able to go anywhere without the scare to be hurt or kidnapped. We can buy the food we want to eat and it is priceless. We enjoy days in the park or the lakes, and to be able to walk without looking around you. When I go to the doctor, I receive medical assistance from them, and I can pay later or with a payment plan.

The simple fact that going to a movie theater and staying safe with no fears is a total relief for me. All these benefits are the biggest difference since I came. Maybe many people that live in the United States even realize or appreciate all these wonderful things.

If we were Venezuela, the situation would be different. We could not afford to buy food. We could not go to the parks or beaches because of they are not safe. When I was there, we did not go out or we only visit family and friends. We could not stay late outside the house because it was dangerous. The political situation in my country is getting worse. The delinquency and homicides have increased dramatically and the impunity reigns there.

Making this decision has changed my life in education, family, and personal security. It has been hard going through all this process but I know my education will guarantee a better future for my family and allow me to help my parents in Venezuela.

In addition, my family now is united and we share more time together. This will be a model for my kids when they will have their own families. Sometimes I feel sad or disappointed to stay far away from my parents but I know this decision was the best.

Finally, the personal security aspect is the most relevant change in our lives because we can enjoy many things together without feeling threatened or harmed. We can recreate and go out in peace without scare, and it makes this decision worthwhile.

An author, Simon Sinek, wrote an article on making sacrifices for askmen.com where he says, “There is no decision that we can make that does not come with sort of balance or sacrifice.” The basis of Sinek’s argument is that every decision has a quote of sacrifice. It can come with some good and painful consequences that we have to assume once we make the decision. With no doubt, this has been my biggest decision but everything is temporal and I will enjoy the moment.