11 thoughts on “Family

  1. Wanderleay Tejada

    No Role Models in this conformist world
    I never met what would be considered a true role model. It was as if they were all extinct by the time I was born.Growing up the one thing that really mattered was making something of yourself. The problem was the idea of success was cloudy, no one really set the bar for me or even gave me the instructions on how to do it. It was just expected that I would somehow “ make it” without any help or guidance. My only role models were negative ones; the ones that a proper parent with a master’s degree and a job with a six figure salary would point out to his son and saying “ you see Billy, that’s what happens when you do drugs” and he in response would say “ gee dad I would never do drugs in my life.” It was as if they were there for me to show me what can go wrong, and believe you me; a lot can go wrong. My difference within my peers is somewhat of a scandal; the fact that their high light would be to drive a used up Honda Civic with the seat moved back so that they can barely see the road and a stereo system that could be heard in the next town over. Was as a travesty, that was to me of course because for the rest it was as if this was the norm. That a teenage boy could reach enlightenment by driving around drunk or high out his mind and a teenage girl could succeed by twerking on MTV. Now I am not saying that there is nothing wrong with that; all I am saying is that there are other options. Our so call role models should promote a better life style and in return we will be a better as a whole.

    For me education is a way out, is the light at the end of the tunnel. The sad part is that it seems as if I stood alone in this matter; tired of people telling me that I am just wasting my time by going to college, quite honestly I am so tired of seeing the smartest kids, “the ones that were going to make it” come back home with the a face full of regret and a heart full of disappointment as if all their life they believe in education but education never believe in them. The road to success was not paved for me. I have to pave the road for others I have to be the one who gets there first and come back and tell the others that is safe; as you can see losing is not an option for me it’s like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders but I can’t show it, all I have to do is smile and remember to keep moving forward. I have to remember that I am alone in this journey and that I must win at all cost.

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    • Although our stories are a little different, I can relate to this so much. Education has been a huge part of my life that I have relied on and carry all the weight without anyone knowing. It is not something that feels good at the time. However, the risk is worth the reward and hard work will always get you to that reward. Keep working hard! You will always succeed

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    • I love this piece truly. I like the authenticity and the passion with which is written. In certain parts I could relate with the role models being almost non existent and the people around u settling so now it’s all on you to set everything up in motion. But I don’t really see you bringing up family much and I believe that maybe this would best be suited in the faith or perservarance thoughts. Still great work.

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  2. What does the sight of a dead body do to an adolescent mind. The sight of my father’s dead body affected my adolescent mind in many different ways. At that time, I questioned life and everything around me. The crucial part about that would be how I responded to the dramatic change in life. At a young age boys usually understand the role of the father in the home: to protect, bring food, and represent the family in public. What then happens to me if my father is not there to show me how things are? Growing up is such a delicate process and when rushed or interrupted, it can go in a totally different path. In my case, it went right due to the efforts of my family members around me and my mother.
    The memory of this event guided hastening maturation process. I went from happy and energetic to happy, energetic and observant. There was something in seeing my father’s motionless body in a coffin that showed me fear and the reality of life. During that scaring moment, a stream of emotions just started to flow down my cheeks. When I saw that coffin, a bit of rage, fear, anxiety, sadness, and guilt ran through my body. I felt rage because I blamed myself thinking that I could have done something to help him. I felt anxiety and fear because I then thought about if I was going to die next soon. Even until today, I am not sure if I will die at the same age he did. Lastly, I felt sadness and guilt because I just lost my father and there was nothing that I could have done. How was I going to process all of this at the fragile age of 5 years old?
    Ever since my mother has been working tirelessly to make me who I am today. She has worked with me in and out of school to make sure everything is going well with me. There were days when she would come from work in the morning and I would be at home in a corner because I didn’t want to go to school. She would then try to convince me to go to school and if she saw that I was unwilling, she would call off of work and stay home to talk to me and comfort me. Keeping in mind that she was a single mother and the only source of income, what she did was really big. I usually never see the effects of what my mother does, but when I do, I make sure to appreciate it and I am grateful. My motivation became the thought of my father in the coffin. Whenever I had those thoughts, I had a little push to do whatever I needed to. Since I heard so many good things about him, I wanted to be just like him. It was like I was chasing his ghost. I had heard so many of his life stories about how he helped the community pave roads and he was well known around town. Inspired by that, I would want to reach that goal too, so I would go out into my community and try to help others at soup kitchens and in other organizations, so I could be as well known as him. My mother and he have been the most influential people in my life and I am who I am today because of them. Family is a very special unit in society and my family is what made me who I am today.

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    • This was beautifully written, as the reader it made me feel multiple emotions. Your family must be amazing I could never imagine going through something like that. I’m sorry for your loss.

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  3. Alexander Victorino

    To put it simply it’s hard to go through life alone and isolated. One strong belief and principle I was taught to value and grow up with was family. That no matter what, it will always be there. I choose to stand by this principle and live by it because family is what helped me get this far in the first place whether it be their sacrifices, their support or the hard work they had to go through to put me in the position I am now. Sure family sometimes can have its fair share of problems and be a pain in the butt, but it’s only because they care and love you to their fullest. Being raised in a family where they had to work for absolutely everything they have and work together to help each other out made me appreciate the people around me and helped me pick out my friends. Family is not only limited to blood relatives but is those you hold dearly to your heart. Family are those who have special meaning in your life and unfortunately I learned that in a tragic way when I my best friend since the 4th grade was gunned down just a couple years ago and I was shocked and stunned at what just had happened. My heart felt for this loss pretty hard. I knew he was one of the most important people in my life and one of the best people I have ever met but that moment I realized I loved him like family. He was a brother from another mother. Family extends to those outside your bloodline and only you can decide who your family is. So as we enter a new chapter in our lives together I believe that we should treat each other like family and build a bond that will take us to the next level of appreciation for those in our lives. College is probably the craziest roller coaster of all and we need someone to ride it with us.

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  4. I believe that your background defines who you are entirely. Some children are raised in lives of luxury where they do not have to worry about finances or what house they have to move to next. Those children have not seen the worst part of the world yet and they should not have to. Now for the children who have seen the ugly side of the world, more likely than not, they mature quickly. I am one of those children who has lived and breathed what it is like to experience a life that is not typical of many others in my community. Growing up, my parents divorced at a young age and my mom was always an alcoholic. Living with her was something extraordinary. As I started getting older, I began to realize that my maturity level was much higher than my peers because I was one of few who had be their own parent at home. I believe that I became a hardworking student because of my mother. I believe that I put forth immense amounts of effort, in fear that one day I would have children and I would not be able to provide and parent them so they could experience the life of a child that I was never able to do. I believe that a person’s home life changes them forever and that is something they will always remember, whether it be good or bad experience. I believe that life is solely what you make out of it and any bad can be turned to good with the correct mindset. Any person can accept that they do not have a perfect life and continue to live in the bad of their life. However, it takes strength and passion to create something amazing out of something negative.

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  5. I guess my family isn’t exactly normal. I suppose my family isn’t exactly one family either. I have a lot of families. I have a family made up of teenagers and grown men, who build things together, another one connected through blood, one that’s just 7 teenagers and the one I hope to have in the future. Family for me isn’t about blood. Yes, blood is thicker than water, but you need both to stay alive. Both can do harm. Sometimes you need to lose blood so a wound can clot and you can finally stop bleeding and other times you drink to much water and now well not to be vulgar, but you need to piss. To put one before the other is a ridiculously black and white view on relationships. My family of friends and my family of blood are equally as important to me. When I think of my future I see both families in it. When I am talking to my friends, I say, “I can’t for our family parties in the future.” Because in the end, they’re my family. I am more myself near them than my actual family.
    This year we adopted a new member into our family and it couldn’t be better. They’re still adjusting. For sake of privacy, we’ll call him Jazzman. He’s a freshly turned dancing queen, 17. He’s very self-conscious and sometimes I think he forgets he’s a part of our family. And it hurts because I want him to know we’ll always be there for him through thick and thin. I know he’ll always be there for us. That’s what defines who is family, people who are always there for you, people you can joke around with, people you can be unapologetically yourself around and people who you will cut a bitch for you on call. A family isn’t about forgiving your father countless times for forgetting your birthday, or letting yourself be treated like garbage because “they’re blood” or making excuses for your boyfriend or friends shitty behavior because “that’s just how they are”. If you have those people in your life I recommend you go to the closest craft store and pick up those fancy scissors with the patterns (because they make everything better) and cut those people out of your life. You will bleed, but you need to bleed in order to heal.
    Cutting those people out of my life showed me who my real family is. They don’t judge me, they call me out when I’m being problematic, they love me. And guess what? They remember my f**king birthday. They are everything to me and I will do anything for them. If they’re feeling sad I will do anything in my power to make it, even if I can’t I’ll be there shoulder to cry on. Blood may be thicker, but you need water and blood to stay alive.

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