Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Final Project Installment 1: This I Believe. Sec. 9 TR 1-2:30
I was born in 1997 to two 17 and 18 year old high schoolers hailing from the middle of nowhere, Amarillo, Texas. My mom was a senior in high school who had been offered two full ride scholarships to Texas A&M on either an opera or a golf scholarship right before she got pregnant with me. My dad was a junior at a different high school and all he knew he wanted to do with his life was provide for my mom and I, move to Nashville, and become a songwriter. Even though circumstances were earth shattering for my parents, they loved each other + poured all of that love into making sure I would have a good life anyways.
My dad’s dad was a southern Baptist pastor at a local church. When my parent’s found out they were pregnant, so did the rest of the town as well as my grandfather’s church, who weren’t very accepting of their pastor’s son having a baby in high school. So with that being said, my grandpa lost his job at this church due to some corrupt individuals at the church who used my parent’s situation as an avenue to oust him. Having no job and no other church in town that hadn’t already heard about the “scandal,” my grandparents were then forced to move a thousand miles away when I was just a few months old to California.
With no support system and no reason to stay, when my dad got a scholarship offer to Belmont University that would pay for almost 75% of his tuition, we went with pretty much no questions asked. My parents worked multiple jobs all throughout high school to save up just enough money to make it down to Nashville and when one of my dad’s close family friends heard about how much we were struggling, they decided to help. One day my dad got a call from his friend’s family asking how much money we needed to make it to Belmont and when my dad explained that he had been saving up for a car for the past year, they wrote him a check for an old pick up truck they’d found at a local used car dealership. Due to their generosity, my family loaded up that Chevy with as much as it could carry, rented a U-Haul, rounded up some hand-me-down furniture, and with less than $100 in their pockets, we moved 15 hours away to Music City USA.
With my dad going to school and working full time, my mom had to pick up the late night shifts at TGIFriday’s as a server and a bartender. Often times, the most my parent’s would get to see each other would be a quick kiss and the trading off of our car key’s in the hallway of our little apartment. Our closest family was still in Amarillo so when my parents couldn’t watch me, a sweet family of refugees from Iraq helped watch me, let me come over and play with their kids, and would bring my family dinner every once in a while just help us make ends meet.