Part 1 Childhood Dreams
Looking back on my childhood, I tend to go negative. We moved so much. My parents were not educated enough to help me with my homework. I felt lonely. My mom suffered from manic depression, and it sucked. We were so poor. But when I think about actual moments of my childhood, specific, tiny, day-to-day moments, I know I was lucky: in many ways, I had won the parent lottery. My parents somehow innately knew that part of the reason for their misfortune was their current lack of education. My mom, a professed non-reader, read children’s books to me daily, and she chose stories that taught me to be kind. My dad, a man of integrity, who simply couldn’t afford school at a time before widespread financial aid, became a role model for me with his constant bookwormish-reading. He never let me off the hook when I asked a question: he always made me look up the answer in encyclopedias. I suppose these days it would have been the internet.
The focus on education at such a young age really helped me define my childhood dreams. As a kindergartener, I remember my dad telling me, “You better get good grades so you can get money to go to college. We can’t pay for it.” As a little tyke of five-and-a-half-years old, I excitedly got on the bus the first day to go to school. I was excited about learning, and somehow that never changed. I did want to go to college, and the message that it was up to me, even from a very young age, stuck with and motivated me. My dad joked about me going to Harvard to become a lawyer, and that became my first childhood dream.
Clearly, that dream did not become a reality, but not because it couldn’t have. That gold star in the sky kept me focused on school throughout my elementary, middle, and high school career until around 11th grade. As I became more reflective, I realized that I didn’t like confrontation, which I feel would have been a significant part of my supposed career choice, and I didn’t want to move that far...
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