Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Scale

On the way to growing up, there is always something that is meaningful to us. For different people, there are different things which do not have to be significant, but are memorable for them. For me, there is one special of them thing, I call it “my scale,” a height scale on the wall. I know a lot of people have it  because it is not only a scale, but also records the memories of different time periods.
I used to live with my paternal grandparents before sixth grade. My grandparents' house is an old condominium in a military base, because my grandpa worked in the military. In this old condominium, the poor walls were destroyed by my drawings. I remember I drew birds on the wall, because I thought that the wall looked like the sky. Compared to all of these drawings, my scale is pretty outstanding as it is made of tons up of pencil lines drawn by me or my parents.
The scale is not the normal height scale that we see in a physical examination room, for it is drawn by hand. When I was little, we did not have a height scale in our house. So it was necessary for me to use a tape measure to measure my height. That is what I did; I stood up against the wall near the doorframe of my room. Either my mom or my dad would put a ruler on my head and use a pencil to draw a line on the wall, then use the tape measure to measure my height. Therefore, my scale is not like a ruler because it is not very precise. I used colored pencil to make the scale pretty colorful. Last summer when I went back to Beijing and my grandma’s house, my scale was still on the wall, and it carries all of the memories of my childhood like a full Easter-egg basket. When I look at the scale, all of my memories come to my mind like waves which engage as thousands of pictures. For example, I can picture that I am annoying mom to buy a toy or crying while I was doing math given to me by my dad as punishment.
The bottom of the scale was so indistinct because it was a long time ago when we drew on that wall. Many times touching the scale, I made it hard to tell which one is the most bottom-most line as the bottom lines are so low. I must have been four or five when my parents measured my height for the first time. I remember when I was little, I was a troublesome tomboy. I climbed a tree; I caught a bumble bee; I jumped off the wall. I spent most time with boys instead of playing dolls or role playing with girls. Today, I can still see some scars on my arms and legs that I got when I was little. They are the most profound brands on my body which recorded all the memories of my childhood, just like my scale marked on the wall.
As time flew by, I grew up strikingly fast. My height changed speedily from grade five to grade six. In one year, I grew more than ten centimeters. I do not know how my bones grew that much in one year, but I guess maybe they were tired of stretching a little bit every year. So they decided to boom in one year. On the scale, there is a huge space between two lines. I didn’t change only by my appearance, but I had emotional changes as well. I thought I was tall and old enough to be a teenager, so I paid more attention to my clothes and beauty and started arguing with my parents about everything. I tried to speak out, and tell all my opinions, because I did not want to listen any more. I remember once I went to my friend’s holiday village to play, which is owned by her family. While we were in this holiday village, my mom called me on my cell phone so many times, which really upset me. I could not understand how she still treated me like a little kid. I thought I was mature enough to be an adult in my family, but I guess I was not.
My scale had stopped at 161 centimeters (5 feet and 3 inches) at the time I left my grandma’s house to live in my parent’s new condominium. I had a hard time in middle school, because my school was very competitive. I did not like it very much.
Therefore, I took my feet to the land of the United States to study in another country. I thought it would be much easier than China for academic studying. Honestly, I was right, but the difficulty is I have to manage everything independently. My poor English made me embarrassed so many times. One time, I learned a new expression, when people get mad, they will say “I am pissed off.” Instead of saying “pissed off”, I said “Oh, I am pissed out.” My friends laughed so hard after I said that. I was so embarrassed that I wanted to dig a hole on the ground and bury myself. But I could not do it. When this kind of thing happens, I can’t run away and avoid facing it. Thereby, Instead of escaping from it, I laughed with them. Then, I did not feel so embarrassed.
I can not remember how many awkward situations or problems I had before, but all these experiences really made me mature a lot. There is no crutch for me to rely on any longer. By the time I chose to study abroad, I knew it would be my best chance to grow up independently.
I am really proud of myself about an air ticket issue I solved a couple days ago. I planned to go back to China during Thanksgiving, but there was mere a five-day break for Thanksgiving. Therefore, I tried my best to find the cheapest air tickets on However, things never go fluently with me, I don’t know whose mistake it was, but, they put my host mom's first name for my middle name, though I do not have a middle name. I called the airline so many times, but they could not figure out my issue until the day before my departure. I was like a burning ant who did not know what to do. I was so anxious that I could not concentrate on my studies, though I had the SAT coming soon. I felt so hopeless, because there was no one who could help me with it. I had to solve this problem myself. So I called the airline's agency a couple of times. Finally, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) helped me to remove the middle name, and I got on the air plane with no trouble at all. When I tried to solve this problem, I was scared to death, for I couldn’t get on the air plane. However, I was not like a couple years ago when I had just become a teenager. I know when I meet some difficult situations, I needed to calm down and use my brain to think instead of being flurried and make silly mistakes. I learned not to ask my parents to do everything for me like an immature baby. Honestly,I hated dealing with things individually, because I always want to get some help from others. But as I grew up, little by little, I felt that I should take this responsibility to take good care of myself. I am really proud of myself, solving the air ticket issue, which was one of the biggest challenges I have ever had.
In these short two years, I have been like an eyas being pushed out of the nest, flying freely in the sky; like a beginner swimmer who is pushed by the coach. I am not like a baby, lying in my parent’s arms. I am willing to deal with everything individually. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This quote by Gandhi, is one of my favorite quotes, because I am a teenager, and I am changing into a person I wish to see in the world.
I am 166 centimeters tall now, which is about five feet and five inches, and I grew about two inches since sixth grade. Although I did not change a lot in height, all my feelings about myself are different from five years ago. Once, in my dream, I wished I could go back to my grandma's old condominium to see my memorable scale to recall interesting events. I wished the time could fly back so that I would not have had the period of hard time when I was immaturely arguing with my parents and making a lot of silly mistakes. Now, I am eighteen. I have truly become an independent young adult.

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