Coming of Age Narrative


This is a piece I wrote for class, please do not plagiarize, credit to my English 11 honors class.

I decided to post this because I wanted people to be more aware of the real world out there, and I believe I can help by providing real-life experience narratives. Thanks.

    Everyone has a moment in their lives when they sense something different. A feeling of stepping into a new world, where the things we once overlooked stand right before us. A moment of realization when the things that mattered the least turn out to hold great significance in our everyday lives. It is a turning point when the way we imagined our life to play out can be changed by an unimaginable event, or a moment of awareness.

    I remember the day when my life took a turn. It was the sixth day of my vacation in Istanbul, Turkey. I was walking to a small restaurant that served amazing chicken, fish, and beef, from the Hagia Sophia, when I was stopped in my tracks by a little girl covered in dirt, wearing a pink dress, and no shoes. In one hand she was carrying a leaf, and in the other were small pieces of the leaf that she had picked apart to eat. Her eyes had a beautiful green color, a color I had never seen before, and her hair was a natural maroon-red color.

    I had been stopped by many Syrian children before, begging for money or a piece of food that I had been holding in my hand, pulling on my sweater, but for some odd reason, this girl touched me the most. As I took a closer look I noticed a gash above her eyebrow. It was very visible, red, and looked rather recent. It was most likely due to a possible fight, or mistreatment by other homeless children or perhaps adults. I could not stop staring at her wound. Her wound symbolized her survival. I could tell she was alone and had no family with her, whom she most likely lost overtime, but she was a fighter.

    She begged for money but I sincerely had none. My parents were farther in front of me, and I knew they had some loose change in their pockets. I could feel her following me, but it didn’t bother me. I scurried to my father and asked him for a few coins. He saw the girl, and agreed to pass me some change. I took the coins in my hand, and went back to the girl. I kneeled down and put it in her small, fragile hands. She didn’t thank me, but honestly, I wasn’t expecting one. She had gone through so much pain, that a “thank you” wasn’t necessary for me to hear. All I wanted was for her to get better.

    I remember walking back in the direction of the restaurant, but constantly looking back to see how she was doing. I saw her approach a couple, but they had nothing to offer. Thankfully they didn’t simply ignore her and keep walking. They actually acknowledged her presence, said sorry, and continued walking. I didn’t appreciate those who continued to walk, with their Prada bags in one hand, and their heads held high. Why ignore the girl? What did she ever do to them? Was she not worthy of their time?

   The four next days since this event, I began to place some loose change in the small bowls or on the cardboard pieces next to the homeless. I had certainly done this before, but this time I felt different. I felt almost enlightened or educated since the day I had met the beautiful leaf girl. I expected nothing from any of them, except for their well-being. No “thank you” was necessary. I only wanted to know that my actions would help them buy some food at a nearby market, or buy new clothes for a mother’s son or daughter.

   With this event I’ve become more aware of the Syrian-refugee issue. I’ve begun to think both morally and politically. For those who form a bias against them, I ask them to actually go out towards countries in the East such as Turkey, and see the hell of a life they have been living for years. Go out and see reality.





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