I feel that it can be difficult to summarize one’s life, especially when constrained by a two page limit. There are an infinitesimal number of actions, situations, feelings, and experiences which contribute to defining a person and telling their life story. It is nearly impossible to put all of these dynamics down into words, but I will attempt to describe what I feel are the major influences in my life. I came into existence on December 17th, 1987 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Now, as a 21 year old young man, I can look back and see how much I have gone through. I see my life divided into a few separate stages, beginning with my youth.
I grew up and still live in Malvern, Pennsylvania. I was the first born in my family, making me the oldest child. My sister was born two years after I and my brother followed eight years later. My first twelve years of life were lived to the fullest. I lived in a close knit, caring family. I had not a worry or care growing up; life was sunny. I easily made friends in school and was very well liked. My parents and family supported me in whatever hobbies, activities, and interests I had while in elementary school. They were also always there if I ever needed help with anything. It was very encouraging to have parents that were always there to give me support. I was always told that I could be whatever I want when I grew up.
I had a lot of respect for both of my parents. My mom was a nurse practitioner and I thought that it was “cool” that she knew how to help people feel better. She was always heavily involved in my school life, volunteering to help with school fairs and such. My dad owned his own woodworking and eventual architectural antiques business. He would take me and my sister to his shop on weekends and some late nights to help him out and to just spend time together. It was great that my parents both were visibly in my life.
About a week or two into middle school, my dad passed away of amyloidosis. It was such a sudden blow to me and my family. He had undergone some sort of chemotherapy that summer, but I was told that it was not a big deal and that he was going to be fine. I was not prepared at all when I awoke to that news one morning. This second stage of my life was incredibly difficult. It was said that middle school was supposed to be the time when you found yourself and could say who you were. For me, it was more about trying to stay emotionally stable. About a year after my dad passed, my mom remarried a man whose wife had died around the same time as my dad. Together with his children, I now lived in a ten person family. I had gone through such dramatic change in such a short time. My family was there to support me, but going through all that was something that had to be dealt with internally.
I do not think I ever really found myself until I started college. It took me a long time to really gather myself after enduring the loss of my father and then dealing with a whole new family, aside from all other things going on in my life. I consider the start of college to have been my third stage of life. At the moment, I feel that I am doing well physically, psychologically, and emotionally. I have grown a lot in the few years I have been at this university. I am still at a crossroads however, of trying to decide what I want to do with my life. It is daunting question; “what do you want to do with your life?” I have changed my major once already and I am not content with my current major, but at this point I do not think it would be worth changing again when I am so close to completing my requirements. At this point, I am taking things in stride and that is where I am today.