Growing Up

Born in the Philippines and raised in the US. Adopted by my aunt who was unable to have children, and was helping out her baby sister by taking me in. She was already married to an American from Pennsylvania. I spent some of my babyhood as it would be, in the hospital. Evidently I was a sickly baby and without the help of my aunt I would not be here. I am very grateful to her for that.

Growing up was a little different for me than most kids out there. My adopted father worked for an airlines back then and so we were able to travel to many different countries before I was 5. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Philippines (of course), Tibet (more of a region than a country I guess), Iran, and others I can’t remember at this time. We lived in a huge house (well at that age, everything is huge) in Ahwatukee, Arizona. I had many toys, that I ended up giving away because my friends said they liked them. I was naively nice.

My adopted parents divorced, I can’t remember how old I was, things were kind of a blur. My mom met her new husband. He was in the Air Force and from Florida. For a long time I called him uncle, because they weren’t married. When I was about 7 or 8, they decided to move to the Philippines. Well, you can imagine what a shock that would be to child who doesn’t even speak the language! Surprisingly, I picked it up and was going to school. I made a lot of friends, and met a lot (I mean a LOT) of family. It was the first and last time I ever got to meet my grandfather. It’s pretty sad when the only memory you have of your grandfather is of him killing a chicken for supper. Yeah, not the most pleasant of memories, but unforgettable. All I really remember about him was that he was kind to me. That will never fade.

After a few years they decided they wanted to move back to the US. So we did, and to Florida we went. We lived in Jupiter, Florida, for a while. Can’t remember how many years. We moved around so much a person could get whiplash! I do remember going to school, at many different schools.

I’ve come to find that most people think of asians as being really smart. I guess in some cases it’s true, but not for all. I’ve always come to find that most idiots think you know karate or something and tend to wanna try and pick fights. I will tell you this, I don’t need to know karate to kick your ass, period. Okay, sorry about that, but it’s true. People are afraid of what they don’t understand, and they knew nothing of me. Yes, I did get picked on in elementary school, prior to moving to Plantation, where there was a larger population of asians in the area. It helped a lot. Anyway, enough of my ranting and back to my life story.

We moved to Plantation, Florida, and I met some great people there. Yes, by this time my parents finally got married. I went to school and made great friends. Then they decided to move, again. We moved to Margate, Florida. This is where I remember things more clearly. We finally stayed long enough in one area (we changed apartments) for me to be able to continuously go to school for 4 years in  the same area. What a great relief that was! we moved again, this time to North Lauderdale for most of my freshman year. Then we ended up moving back to Margate. I told you people, whiplash! I was able to finish out my freshman year at Coconut Creek High and actually finished my sophomore year as well.

I loved Margate. only for the fact that I was able to stay in one place long enough to keep the friends I had made in the 4 years I went to elementary and middle school there. Here I experienced my first love (this will be another subject altogether), true friends, and a handful of trouble. Come on! What teenager doesn’t get into a little bit of trouble?

Well, we moved again, back to Plantation. I’m sure as you’re reading this, you’re getting tired of all the moving, am I right? I end up quitting school and getting my GED. I started in July and got my diploma in December of 1992.

They decided to move again…we took the volvo station wagon with a trailer hitched to the back and made our way across the southern United States to California. Hah! You thought I was gonna say Arizona huh? Nope, we were headed towards Chico, California. Nice college town. Hard for a teenager to get a job with all the college students around. So I freeloaded of my dad for about 7 to 8 months. Of course I did do some side work with my dad, electrical. Then they decided we should head for Arizona.

Well, there you have it. Here I am in hot, arid, Arizona, and haven’t left yet. You can bet that we moved around a lot here too. I thank my lucky stars that I am married to a man who wants to stay in one place for as long as possible. As for my parents, they are currently back in Florida, Jacksonville this time. That is where my dad’s parents, brother, and sister live. Interesting life of moving about, yes? Not really? Well, this is the condensed version, if you can believe that.

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