I told them that I would run away from home, but they didn’t believe me. Every time my brothers would tease, I would bring it up. Every time my dad punished me for no reason, I would bring it up. Every time I did, they would roll their eyes and laugh. That showed me how much they cared.

I never fit in with my family. My two older brothers were loud and annoying. I never got along with them, and it seemed like they were always picking on me because I was the youngest. I’m the baby of the family and am constantly reminded of it too.

I would always imagine being somewhere far from home. Laying out in the woods with no one but the birds and the trees. There would be no one to bother me and I would get to experience the beauty of nature.

Ever since I can remember, I have lived in the city. I never really liked it. There were too many tall buildings, too many people, and not enough silence. Silence is definitely something special when you’re living in the city.

Every summer we went on family camping trips. It is on these trips that I realize how much of life we’re missing by living in the city. We’re missing the beautiful lakes to swim and fish in, the tall grasses to run through, and especially the silence.

One day, as my brothers were giving me a hard time, I decided I’ve had enough. I was not going to take this torture any longer. I told my brothers one last time that I was going to run away, and they rolled their eyes one last time in doubt.

That night I headed for the wilderness. All I had with me was a backpack with some tools and forty dollars in cash. I took a cab to the countryside and started walking from there.

It felt like I had been walking for hours and I began to feel very cold, hungry, and tired. I decided to take a break by a small pond and rest for the night. My first task would be to find some food.

I always used to go fishing with my dad, but this was different. I didn’t have a fishing pole, and this time I’d be fishing for my survival. I decided my only choice was to fish with my bare hands. I found a sharp stick by the edge of the pond. I sharpened it with a small rock. This stick would be perfect to catch fish with.

I waded into the water. The water felt cold on my skin and made me shiver. It definitely didn’t help my current situation. After what felt like forever, I finally managed to catch a fish.

My next task would be to start a fire. This would definitely be a necessity if I was going to survive in the wilderness. I’ve seen people start fires with sticks before in movies, so I decided to give it a try. I really didn’t feel like eating raw fish.

I started rubbing the sticks together, faster and faster, but not a single thing happened. I started to get very discouraged. Was I not fit to live in the wild? It seemed doubtful that I would learn how to survive.

Then a flash of my brothers' and father’s faces came flooding into my mind.

It was then that I decided, I would survive, that I would make sure I would survive. I became so determined and finally started to make my very first fire. I was so relieved and extremely happy. That night, I ate my fish and then fell asleep by the nice warm fire.

After that night, I learned two very important things. The first one is that if you try hard enough you can survive in any situation. I was so close to giving up, but because I didn’t, I finally found a way to survive. The second is that things are not always what they seem to be. I always thought that when you were out in nature nothing bad could ever happen, but I guess I was extremely wrong.