None of us chose our parents, siblings, nor families. Some of those paths were handed down to us. But, as an adult, most of us chose the path we eventually traveled. Yes, though the environment not a man makes, yet an environment does the man make! But I can tell you that whether the inherited paths or those we chose to travel, good or bad, all things work together for good.
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I was born and raised into a family of 21 children. “Wow,” I heard you say Right? For real? Yes, for real! But all the children were not born by my mother. Praise God. Despite all my siblings, America made me realize that I was an only child (one sharing of the same biological parents).
I was the oldest daughter, my life responsibilities came early; at age 7, I was responsible for taking care of my younger siblings – bathing, clothing, feeding, and making sure they did right! Under my granny’s tutelage, I started learning how to cook at age 13 and did other household chores much sooner than most of my siblings even though we had house-helps. Did I hear you ask, “where was your Mother?” Follow me on The Patriarch to find out. Not only was I the oldest daughter, I was the only girl amidst four brothers. It took another five years for the next daughter to arrive. Also, for about 10 years, I was the only lone child in the family. I recognized this early and learned to suppress my emotions though I loved my siblings, ate and played together, and even wore similar clothes. I saw things that were not right but looked the other way because one got in trouble for saying it. Since I had no-one to “defend” me, I learned to keep quiet. I could also tell at a young age those who genuinely loved me, my father, and us as a family. Though I missed the hugs and kisses of not growing up with my Mom, I propose that her absence helped me viewed issues more objectively and from a neutral unbiased manner.
I channeled my energy into being the best that I knew how. I was highly competitive in my elementary school; my grades fell between 1st and 2nd; once I was the 5th in class and cried all the way home. I participated in sports and always looked forward to our Sports Day. I excelled at whatever I did. High school was different though and had its challenges. I loved playing soccer with my brothers and neighbors and was the favorite goalkeeper. Should our team be losing, I will switch from goalkeeper to forward till we tied or led the game. I also realized that I dreamed a lot and some things would happen that seemed so surreal and de ja vu. I did not share those dreams with anyone until I was older. I would tell about “not liking someone” even though I was meeting them for the first time and it often turns out, sooner than later, that there was something shady or weird about the person. I thought that I was weird myself and did not understand my life.
Though no regrets, I traveled a lot of paths that, looking back now, could have been averted had I lived with both my parents. I loved my parents nonetheless and have learned that for everything in life, there are benefits and disadvantages
Fast-forward several years later, I no longer live to suppress my emotions; I loved to be free to express myself and express myself I did. Now I “confront” issues rather than look the other way. One of those issues occurred on one hot summer day. I was about 8-months pregnant and my friend and I decided to walk to a local McDonalds for lunch. As I stood waiting for my friend, ready to leave, a young adult female ran abruptly pass me almost knocking me over. She dashed straight to the bathroom. There was only one stall at the restaurant and dashed back out again. As I stood wondering about what just happened and how to react, here comes a female Police Officer who looked like she was looking for someone or something. I approached her and she told me that “some young adults are harassing the nearby senior home and stealing from them. One of them ran in here.” I was upset about that. Why would anyone do such a thing? I described the young female I saw and pointed that she ran to the bathroom. The Officer went into the bathroom and came out with a stunning silver handgun. I almost passed out! The young female ran into the bathroom and hid it in the trash bin.
“Be the change you want to see.”Mahtma Gandhi
We returned to work and narrated the experience. Some would say that I was bold, some asked why I snitched, while others scolded that I could have been hurt – what if someone nearby heard me and trailed me with the intent to harm me for telling? Some even told me not to return to the restaurant ever again! Oh well …
I have always wanted to blog. Took me forever to get started, but I am finally doing it!
I wear several hats and those hats will be donned in my blogs. I also love and abhor some things and will talk about them from time to time. I believe that in talking about issues we can shed light on, better understand the issue and each other, as well as find a solution. We all are wired differently.
All in all, I hope that I can connect with all during the year, and eventually niche down to a group, as the topics will be varied and concerns a vast group. I am authentically me, have grown to speak the truth in love, and love to seat at the feet of Wisdom.