My favorite “awesome things”:
- Living in the city yet riding at a ranch less than 15 minutes away.
- Having access to an unlimited number of books thanks to libraries, book stores, and ebooks.
- Having the many cousins I grew up with take the place of my non-existent siblings.
- Getting home from school to see my 11 year old dog snoring on the couch with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.
- Being able to listen to any music whenever and whereever I want. (No, this is not a Spotify ad).
- Speed walking to my car through the pouring rain, getting in as quickly as possible, and waiting a few minutes with the engine running for my fingers to unfreeze.
- Falling asleep to the sound of raindrops falling on the roof.
- Being able to take a day trip to the beach during summer but also a weekend trip to the snow in winter.
- Having parents of an uncommon nationality and the many benefits that come along with this – like the amazing food and secret conversations in a language few will understand.
- The freedom of religion that gives me the right, and safety, to go to church whenever I please and not worry about religious persecution, something my parents, growing up, had to worry about constantly.
My family is far from your average “American family”. At home, I start my sentences in one language and finish them in another, plus the occasional phrase in a third language. English was not my first language. In preschool, my mom had to come to class with me so I could understand what was going on. In kindergarten, my friend would ask me to pick a random book off the bookshelf and she’d read it with no problem, while I could only “read” half of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish because I memorized what my mom would say while flipping through the pages. Even today, my friends will start laughing when I pronounce a word wrong. For them it may be a word they grew up hearing, but for me it’s likely my first time ever seeing it. Considering all this, I’ve never wished to have any other family. The positives of my family don’t even compare the to negatives that come along with being different from other families. Being fluent in another language is not only a fun thing to have in my back pocket, but it’s also extremely helpful – especially when it comes to trying to get a message across that not everyone will understand. In addition to the multilingual-ness of my family, we also have a lot of different food. My mom is constantly cooking some cultural dish for dinner everyday of the week, so going out to eat is just about the rarest thing in my family. Saying we go to a restaurant even once every other month would be pushing it. It’s home-cooked meals at least twice daily in my family. I wouldn’t trade my foreign family for anything.
Unofficial Bucket List:
- Go on a tour of Europe.
- Go on a spontaneous road trip.
- Go camping in the snow.
- Visit Australia.
- Own horses.
- See the Northern Lights.
- Write a book.
- Audition for a singing competition show.
- Ride an elephant.
- Write a song.
- Climb Half-Dome.
- Participate at an open mic night.
What does being authentic mean to me?
To me, being authentic is being true to myself. I won’t change who I am to please others. We need to be happy with the life we are living, not trying to satisfy everyone else. I many times fail at this, but I try my best to do the things I do for myself as opposed to doing them for others. This can be as simple as the way we dress. I might dress similar to other girls, but I don’t do it to be like them. I do it because I like the style and it’s what I enjoy to wear. The same goes for makeup. I think makeup is misunderstood by many people. Some think it’s worn to make someone look better because otherwise they’d be “ugly”, however I believe many girls, myself included, wear makeup to feel better about ourselves. I don’t hate the way I look makeup-free, but I do feel much more comfortable when I’m wearing foundation and mascara. Authenticity can be easily seen in the way someone dresses or their reason for wearing makeup, but these are not even close to the only things that make someone authentic. As long as someone is doing the things they enjoy and doing it because they want and choose to do them, they are authentic. I love reading and I love horses. Some of my friends call me a nerd, while others wish they could sit down for hours at a time and read like I do in my free time. My cousins occasionally make fun of me for still liking horses – even more than my seven year old self did – but I could care less because riding is one of the few things that brings as much joy as it does to my life.Being genuine about my actions is what makes me who I am.