I remember when I was younger, every weekday I would wake up 15 minutes early so I could catch a little bit of cartoons before my mom would come into my room and tell me it’s time to get ready for school. Pokémon was my favorite; I even had all 151 Pokémon cards collected, so just like Ash I could catch them all. I remember going to school, having fun with all my friends exchanging cards during lunch and recess. I couldn’t wait until the school bell rang so I could catch the bus and practically run home to catch more cartoons. I would sit in front of the television for hours, my mom would ask if I did my homework. I would pretend not to here her until she would come and stand in front of the TV and I would reluctantly go get my backpack so we could work on my school work together and once I finished I would go right back to it. I remember watching PowerPuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory and as I got older those cartoons got replaced with Spongebob and Johnny Test but still, I adapted with time.
As cartoons got older, so did I. I started to spend less time in front of the TV and more time outside doing extracurricular activities playing with the neighborhood kids. I remember when YuGiOh! cards came out, they were all the new craze but Pokemon still remained strong, I still had my cards even the ones that wore worn and torn because I know that one day they’ll be worth something, they have to be. Someday someone’s going to be just excited as I was about these special cards, especially my collector’s cards, holographic and shiny. I don’t really know what kept me so interested in these cards. Could it be the imaginary creatures or maybe the fact that I was so intrigued in just being a collector of things that everyone had wanted at one point in their life? I guess I preferred the finer things in life.

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As a teenager I remember going out to a baseball game with my grandfather and I caught a ball! I couldn’t believe it, and then I got it signed afterwards. I can’t remember by whom but my grandpa does. I don’t too much prefer the sport but at least I was getting the opportunity to spend time with family and playing hooky with my grandpa was always fun, even though we only did it once or twice (or so my parents thought). He told me to make sure that I kept that ball because one day it would be worth lots of money and someone would want to buy it from me. Unfortunately, between moving and going off to college that ball is nowhere to be found but the memories I have will stay forever, plus we took a couple pictures.

I guess collecting things has always interested me. My mother collected all kinds of random assortments of things from buttons to coins and even a few Coca-Cola bottles from one of the first ones to the design that she has now. Maybe that’s where I picked up the hobby. I’ve always tried to start collections from stamps to hats but my collection never seems to be as big as I would like and I eventually give up or forget my collection and move on to something else. I watch television shows now like Hoarders and I hope that I don’t end up like those people. It starts out as collections but moves on to just having junk in the house and some of those houses are so bad that you can’t even walk around, let along live there. Luckily, my collections haven’t gotten that bad. My mom would kill me.

One day though, I’ll have to get rid of my Pokémon cards. Maybe some kid will be the nerd that I once was or some adult that can’t let go will buy them. Either way, they’ll be off of my hands. They can make someone really happy, the same way that they made me. Growing up collecting my Pokémon cards taught me a valuable life lesson, to cherish what you have because not everyone has the same opportunities in life. Some people don’t have the blessings or luck, whichever you prefer to call it, that other people do. You have to keep going with the punches, whether they’re good or bad.

Life doesn’t go the way we want it to go most of the time, but that’s okay because everything happens for a reason and there’s a reason that everything happens. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Adding a little bit of sugar and water to the situation makes everything better and even if it doesn’t, you now know better for next time. Imagine what would happen if everyone that got thrown a curveball in life had given up. Where would you be? Where would your parents be? Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team, but did he give up? I don’t think so. If he had, who knows where professional basketball would be to this day. You can’t give up because of your misfortune and even when life gets hard at times, it’ll always get better even when it seems like you’re facing rock bottom. Being stuck between a rock and a hard place sucks but there’s always someone doing worse than you are. Everyone has a different deck of cards that life dealt him or her; mine just so happened to be Pokémon.