Hey guys! I felt like it was important for you all to know a little bit about me and why I am the person I am today….
I was born in Riverside California and lived there until I was in Second Grade. While living in Riverside we lived in a mobile home park. Don’t let this fool you because mobile home parks are not how you would picture them now. It was a kept up neighborhood that had regulations about upkeep of your property (I can still hear the grown-ups talk about the letters they would get regarding the issues.) It was also a gated community and I loved it there. I still remember me climbing on the Mulberry tree across the street from our home. My mom would hate it because I would pick the berries and eat them and would come home with stains of the berries all over me. The best part about living there was that my grandparents lived in the same area except our home was at the top of a hill and their home was at the bottom. I would always go over there and explore in their front yard or hang out with their neighbors, who were the same age as me.
Long story short, my parents wanted me to have more room and a home of their own. So, the market was good, they had some savings and we bought a house in the California desert (not my personal favorite but… you go where your parents go). It was a beautiful, freshly built three bedroom, two bathroom home. My parents were so happy, everything seemed to be falling into place. My dad was so proud of this home, he put so much work into it. My dad got a chain-linked fence to run along the outskirts of our half acre home, put in a circle driveway with grass, installed a security door (which is basically a more secure screen door), put in another chain-linked fence on the innermost part of the backyard and even started putting up a wooden privacy fence. My dad put his heart and soul into this home.
Then 2008 hit. My dad’s “secure job” moved overseas to the United Kingdom. He was at that job for years! My dad ended up unemployed for a few years and it was hard for him to find anything because the market had crashed. At that time people lost their jobs, homes and some families even fell apart. I still remember watching the news with my family and hearing about other families living in motels because their homes were foreclosed. Seeing this at age thirteen was so hard because you don’t fully know what is going on but you know it’s not good and that it can happen to literally anyone.
In 2009, I ended up having emergency surgery because my appendix burst. It was strange because a few days before that happened I was fine, playing around with my niece and nephew and then that night I felt a sharp pain, which I can’t even fully describe, in my right lower quadrant of the abdomen. Since I’ve always been more dramatic my parent’s didn’t think much of the pain and honestly thought I had the stomach bug or that I may have been constipated, but that definitely was not the case. Also, my dad, being Filipino, told me to go walk around in the sun because I was probably sick because I needed Vitamin D. (which looking back I think is hilarious! My poor dad felt so bad!) A few days passed and the pain became unbearable. It got so bad that I was screaming in the middle of the night. I remember waking up either my sister or mom (I don’t really recall) and begging them to take me to the hospital. My parents took me to the E.R. and they saw me right away. My mom says I wasn’t even there 20 minutes before they took me back to surgery. The doctors said that if they waited any longer I could have died because not only did my appendix burst but gangrene was starting to spread in my body. I recall lying on the gurney feeling so cold, I don’t want to imagine how my body was reacting to this trauma. The worst part for me was that this all happened around my birthday and my sister took my niece and nephew to Disneyland haha.
In 2011, my parents decided that they couldn’t fight anymore to keep our house. With my dad’s unemployment for a few years it set them back a lot, along with my medical bills, it was too hard to keep up on everything. Giving up that house was the hardest thing we all have really had to deal with. My parent’s fought for so long and there were so many companies saying “We can help you keep your house!” and in my opinion they were just trying to take advantage of those in desperate need. They continuously asked for money when they didn’t actually put any work into helping my parents. Seeing my parents go through that was hard but I always tried to keep them in a positive mindset and not think about what they lost but what they were going to gain.
Going through this my dad kept telling me the importance of getting an education and a better job but school was never really my thing. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew I’d find my way.