Essay by sapphire24dCollege, UndergraduateA, January 2010

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I have always had a tough time writing about myself. I never know which information I should omit and which information should be told. In this essay, I am going to describe my past, present and future. I will explain what my goals and expectations are and how my past has molded me into the person I am today. I am a daughter, mother, student, secretary and soon to be wife, the following story will explain how I came into each of these roles.

I was born in Bremerton, Washington on September 22 to Jim and Janice. My parents were high school sweethearts and they got married when I was 10 months old. Over the next six years my parents had two more children, both boys, Robert and Christopher. My parents' relationship slowly deteriorated and in 1991 their divorce was final. I was 9, Robert 5 and Christopher 3. My mom became a single mother without her high school diploma or any work experience.

We became homeless and had to live with my aunt Doris for about 6 months until we could get into the low income housing. If ever my mom got into a bind, my aunt Doris was always there for us. She would take us in when we didn't have anywhere to go and make sure we were fed and clothed. I believe that she is a huge part of the reason that we are where we are today. She was the one person that my brothers and I could count on at all times. I will always be thankful to her.

My brothers and I were too young to realize that we were poor, or that my mother was extremely depressed. I didn't realize it then, but my mother and father were both drug addicts. My mom would spend the majority of her day in her room and if she ever had friends over, they were always in the room with her. They would sit us in front of the T.V with some snacks and disappear. We never minded though because to us, this was normal. My brothers and I were happy children. We felt like we got what we wanted and for the most part we were always fed and taken care of.

As I grew older, I became aware of what my mom was going through. She was always depressed and very rarely came out of her room; I also knew what was going on when her friends came over. By the time I was 12; I was cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. I tried to take care of my brothers as much as I could, but of course we had the sibling rivalry going on at times. I began smoking cigarettes and trying alcohol every once in a while. My mom had no idea I was doing this, I was still her little angel. By the time I was 14, I was smoking cigarettes and marijuana and drinking on a regular basis. I was sneaking out of the house to hang out with my friends, which were people that were much too old for me to be hanging out with. I got pregnant by my 18 year old boyfriend, who denied that he was the father. I later learned that he was married with 2 children already. I did not have the baby and he went to jail for statutory rape.

About a year and a half later I became pregnant again. This time I was in denial and I didn't tell my mom until I was almost 4 months along. My mom and Aunt Doris advised me not to have the baby. I made an appointment to have an abortion, but when the day came, I didn't go. This, I believe, was the best choice I could have ever made for myself. About 5 months later, my beautiful baby boy, Jason, was born. He changed my life forever. I loved him and he made me want to do good things with my life. It is because of him that I am where I am today. Jason is now 10 years old and he is the light of my life, he is my little sports star and I am so thankful to have him in my life.

Three and a half years ago, I met my now fiancé. We both work at the same place and we worked together for about a year before we joined a committee together and realized that we had a lot of fun together. We have now been together for over two and half years and we have a beautiful baby girl, Rebecca, who is now 11 months old. My son and daughter adore each other and my fiancé and I adore them more!In December of 2008 my mother was displaced from her home, so she moved in with us. This was only going to be a temporary situation for about a month or two. She has lived with us ever since. She watches my children part time and works part time. She has been a tremendous help and because of her, I don't have to put my children in daycare.

On June 15, 2009, we got another addition to our family. My 17 month old nephew, David, was placed with us through Child Protective Services (CPS). My brother and his girlfriend are addicted to heroin and CPS had taken him from them because his mother had overdosed on heroin with him in her presence. My family fought for him and we got him. He is now with family who he knows and who loves him very much. So although it is not easy having two children under 2 in the household, our family is complete. We have a very busy schedule, ranging from sports to school, but we always find time to spend together as a family. I feel at this point in my life I am figuring out my roles as a mother, student, fiancé and secretary. I have my essential roles, which are work, children and school, my fulfilling role is being a mother and right now in my life I don't feel like I have any unfulfilling roles in my life (Hudson and McLean, Life Launch pp 76-77). I feel that I have been tasked with everything that I am going through right now for a reason and I am okay with that.

I have been in college for the better part of my adult years. I began when I was 17 and I am now 26 and have about one year left until I receive my degree. It has been a long, hard road. I had to pick my son up from daycare just to put him back in daycare at the college. Thankfully my son liked daycare! Now that I am attending an online University, I find it much easier to work my school work around my family and not the other way around.

I believe that by obtaining my degree, I am showing my children that education is the most important thing in their lives. I believe that if they observe me being actively involved in college, then they will learn this behavior and follow it (Bee, H & Boyd, D, pp 31-32). One of my biggest goals is to have my children go to college, I would like to instill in them the importance of education and everything that it could do for their future. Another goal I have is to help people. I have always dreamed of being in a position where I can help the less fortunate. I have been in need and I feel like god has put me on this earth to help other people in need. I believe that with my degree, I will be able to obtain a career that I am truly happy with. This will teach my children to go for their goals and dreams and to accept nothing less!ReferencesHudson, F. & McLean, P. (2006) Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (4th Ed.). Map 3: Life's Assignments, Balancing the Parts of Your Life: Activities-Roles-Commitments (pp 75-86). California: The Hudson Institute Press.

Bee, H & Boyd, D. (2006) Adult Development. Theories of Development (pp 31-32). Massachusetts, Allyn and Bacon.