Blast from the past

Tonight is the first night I've been alone in my house for the past month. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the holidays and having guests. Laughing, going out and having parties. Simply walking around the mall or reminiscing about the past. 

But being able to think and collect by myself feels good every once in a while too. Isaac started a new job where he's working nights, kinda sucks but gives me room to write without feeling guilty for not hanging out with him. 

This year I've decided to not make resolutions instead to work on the goals I already set. Like: be a good person, a great wife, sister and mother. Make a goal of being sealed with my husband for time and eternity and also to have a healthier body. These are goals I set a while ago so this year I plan on expanding on them and making sure I keep on steady. 

My visitors were from completely different parts of my life. It made me realize how broken my identity was for so long. I had to write a profile paper for one of my classes they asked us to write it as a scholarship application story, just talking about things we've overcome. 

Here is what I wrote: 

Sitting down to write is one of my favorite things to do. When I was little my mom would jot down 10 words at the top of a sheet and make us write a story using all the words correctly. I’ll use her strategy to tell you about my life, my accomplishments and my future. Here are my words: Spanish, Love, Writing, Children, Photography, Journalism, Rhythm, Overcome, Never. 
My mother taught us to read and write fluently in Spanish. At school I learned how to do the same in English. I grew up in South Houston, Texas. We lived in a 3 bedroom home. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. My grandparents lived with my mom, dad and my siblings until I turned 19. So yea, nine people sharing 1 kitchen taught me a thing or two. 
Growing up when I’d walk into my home I had to leave behind Americanism, I was constantly reminded where I came from. My mother is Colombian, my father is Mexican, we were born in the United States. This process caused a very real identity crisis in my life for a long time. I went through phases of figuring out who I really was. When I was little it was okay, my home was my shelter. I had friends who looked and acted like me. I got a little older and I started to hate being Latina. I hated being so dark. I hated my name, I was embarrassed of how long it was, Flor de Maria de Los Angeles Olivo Muñoz.  
Also during this time, my parents decided the best thing for our family was to move to Salt Lake City, Utah because our neighborhood’s crime and drug problems started to increase. I finished high school in South Houston, that year, two classmates from my neighborhood were murdered. I am grateful my parents made the choice to move us. It fed my internal crisis, but more importantly I had the opportunity to have a new life. For many years I was still confused about that life. I made many choices that had lasting consequences. 
We had a friend who had served his LDS mission in Houston, he motivated me to start school in Utah. I had never considered going to college. I had never even thought about it. In high school I did not do well and honestly at our high school our teachers didn’t seem too interested in students like me. 
I started at the Salt Lake Community College in Spring of 2003. I began wanting to be a paralegal. One day I was walking to class and a professor stopped me because he confused me with another student and asked me why I hadn’t joined the student broadcast at the college. I asked a classmate for more information about it. The next semester I joined the journalism program at SLCC; I knew I wanted to be a bilingual journalist some day. 
I had a couple of bumps down the road, in the summer of 2003 I met this guy and we got married in April of 2004. It was an abusive relationship, we had two children and when I was pregnant with my second I found the courage to escape. I worked actively to overcome my demons, I started a blog that got me into photography and helped create my character in many ways. I discovered myself through writing and photography.
I enrolled in school again in August of 2007 and have been going one class at a time since then. I got remarried and now have one more child. This semester I will finish my first degree. I will finally have my bachelors in journalism. 
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and my life has kept a sporadic rhythm but I have proven to myself more than once that nothing can extinguish my desire to succeed and be happy in life. I have many people to thank along my journey, especially my family, my husband and my children. But I always like to remember to give myself credit too, I chose a long time ago to never stop learning and loving. I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. 

On this blog I often write about my story and the things I've overcome. In some cases I think people may be annoyed by hearing me telling myself these things over and over but my past is what gives me power to move forward. 

I often hear people around me complain about their past and say how hard it was, some never seem able to walk out. For a long time I couldn't understand this mentality, then I realized I didn't need to understand it. I just needed to have compassion and love for those who need a little more time to reach their individual potential.  

When I wrote this paper a lot of other really bad moments came to mind but they were very brief. I've said it before, my past is not me, I am my future, I am my potential and I choose never to put that aside or forget it. 


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