Among these notable life themes, family has influenced my own development the most. I must first note the sheer magnitude of my family. Both my Mom and Dad come from households of nine children, meaning I have 16 immediate uncles and aunts. In addition, most of these relatives have a spouse, thus bringing my total count to 30 uncles and aunts. Finally, this considerable amount of aunt and uncles consequentially led to quite a few first cousins – 54 to be exact. If I were to take one-step further and include my second cousins, the number would quickly multiply into the hundreds – many of which still reside in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. In my adolescence, my parents often said, “Don’t date west of 185th,” thus protecting me from the likelihood of dating my cousin. Although this may seem humorous, it also alludes to the vast size of my family. Due to this large ...
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... and the activities I dedicated myself to influenced my development life more than any other factors. My extended family broadened my views on work, politics, and life, while my immediate family developed the intricacies of my character. In growing up Catholic, I learned what it means to be faithful to God, but did not learn what God is to my other heavenly sisters and brothers. Through participation in diverse activities, I engaged my entire self, while also becoming a more inclusive, caring individual. All of the above factors molded me into an individual with a unique story. A story that reminds me of the strong support group of people around me. A story that calls me to learn with my mind, but also my hands and heart. Most importantly, my past creates a story that calls me to serve all of God’s children with boundless love, endless mercy, and infinite compassion.
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