I am the youngest of four.
I turned 29 on the 10th of January. Being a year closer to 30 has made me think about what matters in life and what doesn't. What matters? My health, my family, being a responsible employee (I want to pay my bills, don't I?), living each day as if it were my last, never giving up on my dreams, and helping others.
As a wise soon-to-be trigenarian, I realize the role my family has played in my formation. I have learned to love my family no matter what. I wondered why we weren't like the Brady Bunch or the Tanners on Full House when I was growing up. Life has taught me that no family is like the Brady Bunch or the Tanners on Full House - seemingly perfect. I wouldn't want that anyway.
These are just a few lessons I have learned from my immediate family members:
My father taught me to pay my bills on time and to stay away from credit card debt. He has always reminded me to keep my cool. He likes to say, "El que se enoja pierde." He who gets angry loses.
My mother taught me the importance of faith and unconditional love. She was forgiven me time and time
again even though I haven't deserved it.
I have three siblings.
Jorge, my eldest brother, taught me the importance of patience and living by the serenity prayer. Sometimes I worry about things I cannot control; I attribute this to my perfectionistic tendencies.
Blanca, my sister, taught me the importance of serving others. She would do anything for me and for other people. She also taught me specific ways of being my own advocate. For example, she recommended I read Buying a Car for Dummies before I bought my first car, which I did. I became well-versed in ways a car salesman might try to swindle me.
Leroy, my other brother, taught me the importance of working hard and perseverance. He taught me that knowledge is power. He defended me in elementary school against bullies before I realized that I had the power to defend myself.