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S: The Learning Center: Memoirs 2010

FC: TLC Memoirs | Fall 2010

1: Table of Contents Chad.....................................................2 Erica ..................................................4 Victoria ................................................6 Tiffany..................................................

2: Chad's Title Goes HERE

3: It is difficult to survive without a mother or a father. Having both parents, on the other hand, is a gift. Some people parents, but communication is non-existent with one or both parents. In my case, my father took on the primary parenting role; he was the one who started everything. My father was a father that everyone would like to have because he got involved in the lives of his children. Throughout the years, my father has role modeled the kind of man he wants me to be. He cares about people having good health and a successful future; he doesn’t like for people to worry or carry burdens. In his family, he most values his children. He gives advice and isn’t afraid to communicate. For example, one time in middle school, I decided I would not go to college. I wanted to work to help my family out financially. My father had a long converstation with me about life really reiterating the benefits of college. He wanted an easier life for me and he said college was the best way for me to help out because I could get a better paying job. My father didn’t have the chance to attend college. When I was born, he was only a teenager. He had to get a job to provide for me. He never wanted his children to have a hard life like he had. He told us about his struggles because he wanted us to appreciate our education. It has always been important for us to take advantage of our future. My father didn’t only give us advice about having a good future, but also about morals. In order to be respected, you have to give respect first. I always try to live by this because I know it means a lot to my father. I never lose my temper because my father is always in the back of my mind. Good morals are equivalent to having a successful life in my father’s eyes. My father has made the biggest impact on my life because he took care of us when he didn’t have to be involved. He could have walked away, but he took the harder path because he loves his children.

4: Erica's Title GOES HERE

5: I have a cousin, who at one time, I could hardly stand. I knew I loved her deep down inside because we were blood, but I guess we just could not get along. My relationship with my cousin has progressed over the years; family problems, growing up hard, and having lots in common has made us closer than I ever expected. It all started with our parents living in the same house from birth until we were two. We has a house with two rooms and three families. Our parents came to this country as illegal immigrants; financially, they had no other choice than to live together. This living arrangement led to my cousin and I arguing all the time and for trivial reasons. We would fight the battle of our parents and act as if we were grown. Our parents were able to look past the problems because there was no other option; however, my cousin and I were not near as mature. In the streets, we had to grown up hard. You always had to worry about being “called out.” When you walked to school you had to watch your back. Similarly, there was always the possibility of a fight waiting on you when you left school. You had to stand up for yourself or you would be walked over emotionally and physically. Classmates, kids in your neighborhood, or even family were fighting to survive, so they would push with words and violence to get their way. If you didn’t draw the line, it would be worse on you. Defending yourself was necessary to earn respect. In a world where you feel like you can trust no one, we clung to each other. Even if I was mad at her, I knew I could trust her. Trust is everything. Initially, growing up, we could not get along because of the lies between us. However, in high school our environment forced us into a relationship. Gradually, we because close and our best friend bond started. We went out to eat, partied, and hung out every day. Because of our relationship, our families grew closer. I really valued our blood bond and friendship. After we got in to high school, though, everything changed. I had to move to Kentucky, which changed our relationship drastically. Over the course of a year, our relationship drastically went down the drain. Eventually, we completely stopped talking and writing to each other. My relationship with my cousin impacted me because we went through so much together. We went from being enemies to best friends. It is frustrating to build a friendship with someone and then, have to be pulled away. It is hard for us to be close now because of the distance. I always wonder how life would have been different if I had never moved. Despite the fact that we are not in contact like we were, I know have a bond that can never be broken.

6: Victoria's Title Goes HERE!

10: “And Today We Remember to Live and to Love”

11: Have you ever felt like something was missing in your life? That you just needed something to believe in to make it through the bad times in life? Well, I know that feeling all too well. You see there were times in my life that I thought I had no purpose in the world and that I was just a waste of space. These feelings went so deep at times that I made plans to kill myself. Those times were so bad that I knew something had to change. So I turned to Religion; to be specific Paganism. My religion helped me understand that there is a purpose in my life. Paganism made me realize three things; everything in life is a journey, to love myself and the people around me, and everything happens for a reason. “It takes only a single event to convince us we have no control over our circumstances” (Life Challenges). During the times that I was depressed, all I could think about was why am I alive? What is the point of living? It’s not like I’m going to be of any use to anyone. I would cry myself to sleep every night just thinking about these stresses. However, when I found my faith in Paganism, I realized that these times were just one of the many twists and turns in life that I would have to face. If I had ended my life, I would not be able to experience all of the other good things in life. I once heard someone say, “Life is a challenge; and if you don’t step up to that challenge, then you truly don’t know what life is.” Paganism teaches that there is a purpose in every trial and it is important for you to live out your purpose to find value in your life obstacles. Love is one of the many emotions you absolutely need to experience in life. In contrast to a physical love you get from sex, I am referring to the unconditional love that is derived from Paganism. Loving and respecting yourself bring happiness. There were times that I would hurt and defile my body; I would cut myself when I was upset and try to starve myself when I thought I was getting fat. Then, I found a segment in a book about Paganism that really made me stop in my tracks. It motivated me to try to stop doing all the harmful things I was doing to my body. Specifically, it taught how the Goddess made each and every one of us beautiful and that we worship Her when we worship and love ourselves: body and soul. I yearned for acceptance and confirmation of who I wanted to be and I found that in Paganism.

12: The song “We Live” by the Superchicks is an accurate depiction of how life is laid out. The words ring loud and clear from the depth of my own soul. There's a cross on the side of the road Where a mother lost her son How could she know that the morning he left Would be the last time she'd trade with him for a little more time (so she could say she loved him one last time) And hold him tight But with life we never know when we're coming up to the end of the road So what do we do then With tragedy around the bend We live, we love, we forgive and never give up Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above And today we remember to live and to love We live, we love, we forgive and never give up Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above And today we remember to live and to love (Superchick). Life is short. The people we love, as well as ourselves, can be taken out at any time. I learned that when I lost my best friend, Ashley, to cancer. She was just 13 years old when she died. I believe that everything happens for a reason; I believe that she was put on this world and taken out early for a reason. Ashley stayed strong even though she knew she was slowly dying. Ashley was one of the greatest friends that I could ever ask for in life. The day I found out that she had passed away, I lost a part of myself. I genuinely did not feel like I could live without her. I could not comprehend why she died when she was more deserving of life than me. I felt forced to accept the loss because nothing could bring her back. Now, I have found peace because I believe my best friend is out there in the world, reborn into a better life. Paganism counseled me through my grief. Live everyday of life like it is the last day of life that you will ever live. Everyday tell the people around you love them. Love and respect yourself; body and soul. My faith in my religion is important to me because I am still alive because of its principals. Whenever I pray for strength to carry on with life, I know that the Goddess and God are listening to me, guiding everyday throughout my journey in life.

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