Twentynine Palms -- Home to me is Fairview Park, OH. I grew up in a modest home with eight bedrooms, two bathrooms with 10 brothers and sisters in the suburbs of Cleveland.
All but one of my siblings is adopted, including me. The age gap between the children ranges between 16 years. Growing up with so many siblings, I always had a best friend or someone to play sports with me.
I was with my family since I was 3 days old, but I was officially adopted at the age of 5 due to a custody battle. My parents never kept it a secret from me that I was adopted and eventually I would like to try to meet my parents.
My father is an accountant while my mother lived her dream of being a stay at home mom and a teacher, homeschooling all of her children from kindergarten through high school.
Although I was home schooled, I still got a great education. My parents believed in hands-on learning so most of our studying wasn’t out of a book, but going out and talking to people and vendors in town to learn about their jobs and how things work.
My education was better than most people I know had. I have been able to experience a lot and make a lot of connections. My mom would work everyday things into our education, such as having us take her grocery list to the store to learn how to budget.
I always wish I went to public school so I could have more opportunities with sports. Since I was a kid, I have always been athletic. I think I would be somewhere else if I wasn’t home schooled and got to play sports in high school.
I played a lot of sports, but my favorite was football. Playing college football has always been a dream of mine, and I want to make that happen when I get out of the Marine Corps.
After I finished my high school education, I knew school wasn’t for me. I always did just enough to get by. Then, three of my sisters joined the Army and their experiences influenced my decision on joining the Marines. The stories they told made the Army not seem challenging enough for me.
I chose to enlist in the Marine Corps to have more discipline, take orders and be high speed. I have always prided myself on making hard decisions, which is why I joined around the time of the Benghazi attack.
My first two years as a Marine were a wake up call for me, especially after being home schooled my entire life. It showed me what the real world was like and, in the process, made me lose some innocence.
After the Marine Corps, I plan on finding a job doing something I love. I want to enjoy what I do so I won’t really have to work a day in my life. I was raised to be an individual and to live life to be happy.
A saying I live by is “something to do, someone to love, someone to believe in, something to hope for. You’re either growing or dying.” There should be no stagnancy in life, you’re either growing and becoming smarter, faster and better, or you’re degenerating. I realized that quote closely resembles how I want to live my life. All four of these things are things everyone should strive for in their lives.