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My Past, Present, and Future

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My Past, Present, and Future

When I reminisce about my life, it really brings into focus how I have turned into the person that I am today. Starting from my childhood, to my teenage years, and all the way through my adulthood, I have experienced quite a bit more than most people my age. Well, more than my immediate circle of friends and peers anyway. I have been shaped and molded by my many ups and downs.

I will attempt to provide a glimpse into the many trials, tribulations, and triumphs that have made me the person I am today. Also describing the goals that I hope these experiences will help me reach.

I grew up in Oceanside, California in a multi-cultural environment. My mother is Brazilian, and my Father is African American. The two of them only had two children, my brother and I. I am the younger of the two. Although my brother and I have a three year age difference, we are very close. We all were. My mother, father, brother, and I were all best friends. I could not have asked for a better childhood. Living near the beach, visiting other countries, and having the closeness with my family made for a very enjoyable life as a child.

As a teenager things were not as pleasant. My father retired from the Marine Corp, and moved the family to his hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I'll just say that it was a bit of a culture shock for me. I went from a very free and diverse environment to a very segregated one. It was not something I was used to, or grew to tolerate. I did however, do the best that I could do to adapt and overcome. Being very active in sports in school gave me the opportunity to travel outside of our state, which gave me a break from the racial tensions in Oklahoma. It was not my ideal place to spend seven years of my life, but being a teenager, I had no say in the matter. I just focused on getting out of there as soon as possible.

One of the most difficult times that I experienced was the passing of my mother to heart disease right before my 18th birthday. It was very sudden, and unexpected. Again, we were all very close, so this was very difficult to deal with. Not to say that it is ever easy. I believe that for many years, I was in shock from the incident. I am just now learning how to deal with it. I was not aware that I was experiencing the five stages of grief (Witt, G.A., & Mossler, R. A. (2010). Adult development and life assessment. Section 5.7). I do not believe I was able to complete the process of grieving, because I had to pick up where my mother left off, and take care of the family. Regardless, I wanted to make her proud by fulfilling my dream of joining the military. One year later, that is exactly what I did. And I was finally able to pack up, and leave Oklahoma.

At first I had thought that joining the Navy was a huge mistake. I was 19 years old, sitting in a classroom all day learning about a job that I felt I would never get to put to good use. I had joined to be an Electronic Warfare Technician, and our training was quite extensive. The long days in the classroom were not very appealing to me. This was also during a time of peace for the United States, so I didn't think there would be much excitement once I made it to the fleet.



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