When I was a kid, the only time I ever went to Iceland was on a tourist boat.
But I didn’t think much of it because it was just so gorgeous.
The sunset on the horizon in the center of Reykjavik was so stunning.
It was like a scene from a fairy tale, except that I could see all the way across the lake and beyond.
But the day I saw it for the first time was September 21, 2011.
I was 14 and had been to Iceland twice before.
I remember being so excited to see it that I went out and bought a tourist permit.
The next day, I went to a different tourist boat to see if I could get in.
But it was still dark and I couldn’t see it because the sunset was so beautiful.
And it was dark.
The boat was empty.
The captain of the tourist boat asked, “Where’s the sunset?”
I said, “It’s over here.”
He looked at me and said, “‘Cause it’s too far away.”
And then he turned around and said in English, “We’re going to get the sun out here!”
I was in tears.
I didn’ know what to say.
I wasn’t sure what to think.
I hadn’t seen anything like it in my life.
I think I cried for days.
But as I walked away, the captain of that boat and the two other men on the boat, I remember them telling me that this is how they would have done it.
I’m sure that they never said it out loud, but I knew they would do it.
They would have climbed up on the sun boat and put their hand over the sun.
That was their plan.
They knew how to reach it, because they had spent the night on it.
That’s how they got the sun there.
When I look back, I can’t believe that they even knew how far they could go, but that’s how I was taught.
The sun’s so beautiful that I can only imagine what it must have been like to be on that boat on that very same day, that night.
That is something I have to thank my parents for teaching me.
They helped me to grow up.
I grew up in an upper-middle-class family, with a father who was an accountant, and two older sisters, and my parents never had a problem telling me to go to school.
When my parents were divorced, I was raised by my mother.
She was a social worker, and she worked for a community development organization.
One day, while I was still in elementary school, my mother was in a car accident.
She died from her injuries the next day.
But my mother’s legacy lives on.
I don’t think I would have been able to have gone to college or gotten a job, or gotten my first job, if it weren’t for my mother, my grandparents, and the many other people that were involved in my upbringing.
I would probably have been living on my own.
But that’s not the way it was.
I could have never achieved my dreams if it wasn’t for the people that my parents instilled in me.
It is a privilege to be able to look up and see these amazing views.
It’s amazing how much it has changed my life since I first saw it.
As an adult, I now see that the sky is the same color and the sun is shining, but the colors and the light are different.
And now that I’m a parent, I think about the things I could never have done in my youth.
Now I have a better perspective on how to live life, what to do, and what not to do.
And I can see that there are more people who can do that, too.
It gives me hope that the sun will always shine out and that it will always be there.
That it will never fade away, just as it always will be, in a beautiful, clear sky.