Up@dawn 2.0

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.


  1. Quite a backstory, I can't wait to hear what core convictions it's led you to.

  2. Years went by and nothing got any easier. My mom was still working late nights and weekends, my dad and I’s quality time was typically him taking me to his shows in smoky bars because they couldn’t afford to bring me to the drop-in daycare, and then the recession hit. But during all those hard times, never did I feel any less love in between every member of my family no matter how hard it was to see each other. In addition to my family’s struggle, I personally was faced with a great amount of bullying. Being a nerdy, loud, tomboyish girl with a lot of big dreams but little money to execute them, I was tormented from a very young age for being different.
    I was always a very bright child growing up but being in a traditional classroom where I already knew most of what was being taught made me bored and frustrated. This caused me to suffer in school and my teachers recommended that I be held back because I wasn’t as smart as the other kids. However, after 2nd grade I transferred schools and although the bullying only intensified, as I had gained 5 dress sizes after visiting my grandparents for a few weeks over the summer, the new education system gave me what I needed to blossom. I had a teacher who pushed me so hard that I couldn’t stand her but by the end of my 3rd grade year, I was testing at the reading level of a college student. She never gave up on me and because of her, I now know that I have what it takes to overcome despite what any school system or person says about me. The teachers I had at that school also took my differences and helped me grow through their art and music programs. By the next year, my art teacher helped my artwork get featured in The Frist because she saw my potential and she helped me harness it into something beautiful. My regular teacher absolutely changed my life by showing me the utmost love, compassion, and that being different is a good thing. Her daughter is in a band called Paramore + she would have her daughter come in + talk to us occasionally. It helped me see that my big, loud voice and all of those other little quirks about me could one day turn into something wonderful instead of just another thing to be picked on for.
    Through my dad working a 9-5 job at a mortgage company that he hated while never being able to make enough to do what he loved in songwriting, he still showed the world love. Through my mom having to hear me call her in tears when I was 7 because she worked an hour away and I didn’t know the next time I would see her, she still showed the world love. Through my grandparents having to move half way across the country and nearly losing everything, they still showed the world love. Through my dad’s friend not needing to help us out but wanting to get us somewhere where we could have a better life, they showed the world love. Through our neighbor’s wariness of this new country and still fearing the oppression they faced in Iraq due to their faith in God, they showed the world love. Through my elementary school teachers never giving up on me because they saw their student’s potential, they showed the world love. Because each and every person in my story decided to show the world love, my parents were able to move to Nashville, my dad graduated from Belmont, my parent’s made a good life for me, and my dad was named the #1 country songwriter this year, received two Triple Play Awards, had 10 #1 hit songs, I now have a three year old baby brother, I’m living in a house my mom got to design, and I was able to follow my dreams by starting my own band and going to college. This is why I believe in showing the world love.

    Link to first post: http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2017/04/final-project-installment-1-this-i.html

  3. This was my second installment to my final project because it wouldn't let me post normally. My apologies!