My name is Mistral Khan-Becerra and I have only lived 22 years. In the last four years I’ve experienced more, I think, than in the 18 previous to that. It began when I started attending New College of Florida, an honors school, smack dab in the middle of retirement city, Sarasota. The place was gorgeous but had a lot of structural hiccups: a few buildings built on a sink hole, inside tiles that had been mistakenly used for outside surfaces, causing a lot of burnt feet, and of course the frequent issue with our water, it would randomly become non potable, needless to say electric kettles became scarce to find at the dollar store near campus. New College contains some of my dearest and darkest memories. Thankfully, it helped me realize that Biochemistry or any other sort of natural science was not what I was interested in.
From there I lived a summer in Albuquerque, NM with a couple of friends. In fact I drove from my friend’s home town, Indianapolis, all the way down, stopping at a half standing motel in Sayre, OK, and a Denny’s in Texas, so we could have a Grand Slam and a cigarette on the side. While in Albuquerque I got to see the spectacular sight of the Sandia Mountains, and got to taste salsa verde. That summer solidified, in my mind, that I could do well.
Of course, it ended almost too soon and I went back to Florida to live with my uncle in Miami. I worked at a Forever21 on Lincoln rd. in South Beach. And since I was coming from a “hippie” college I no longer had “decent” clothes and had to go through the pain of slowly buying new ones. The six months I spent in Miami had a strange mix of monotony and misery. My endeavor to heal myself there was a fiasco. I think anyone past the age of 25 could have foretold that, but hey, I was only 20 at the time.
Finally I decided to come back home to my dear mother, Marisol, whom I love very much. I arrived in my hometown of Buffalo, NY, home of the chicken wing, approximately a month and a half before my 21st birthday. I met my, now, longterm- boyfriend about two weeks after that. Since I’ve been home I have gotten my driver’s license (finally), a good job, my own apartment and car and I have taken a few classes at the local community college. I guess my life is on an upswing. I talk about these last four years because they are the ones that have sculpted me – they are my first steps into adulthood.