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Thanks, Mom and Dad

My mom once joked that I make her look like my enemy on my blog. The force that I rebelled against as a youngster was my parents, so they get painted as the opposition sometimes. I'm proud of this rebellious streak, and attribute some of my success to it, but also know that I  would have none of what I have if it wasn't for them.

Even ignoring the all-trumping donation of their genetic material, my parents, along with the rest of my family, are unquestionably the biggest positive force in my life. Although it doesn't usually make it into sappy blog posts like this one, the truth is that every single day, I think about how incredibly lucky I am to have such incredible parents. If I dwell on the thought too long, I find myself fighting back tears of gratitude.

As someone who enjoys a huge degree of personal freedom, I am only now beginning to be able to comprehend the sacrifices that my parents have made for me. I was a difficult child even before I was born, giving my mother 36 hours of labor before finally popping out into the world. From that time until long after I left the house, she and my father put my needs above their own. It's fair to say that for most or all of that time, I didn't realize how profound this sacrifice was, let alone acknowledge it.


On The Thoughtful Young Djedi from Bermuda

[Note: I wrote this essay when I was about 16.]

I would be hard pressed to remember a period of time when my younger brother and I were not fighting or arguing. I know many people say that it is common for siblings to fuss and fight with each other, but I think my brother and I took that notion to a whole new level. In my younger years I can remember the both of us fighting over the slightest things, and as we grew older this did not change. The outcomes of our tussles were undesirable for both of us, as we both would get into trouble, but nonetheless we were persistent in our wars against each other (to the distress of our parents). My mother insisted she would have a heart-attack if it continued.

Ironically enough, although we fought a lot we were still very close. Our hostilities towards each other never damaged our brotherly bond and we were always the closest of friends. My brother would always be the first one to find the ‘Playstation’ which my parents would hide and we would alternatively keep a lookout when they were coming home so we could play. Taking into account our numerous fights and quarrels, we never could be separated and to this day remain very close friends and our bond could not be stronger. I feel this is why my brother has influenced me in a significant way. Our relationship stretches farther than flesh and blood, and through our differences he has taught me how to forgive and that life is too short to hold petty grudges.

Although outwardly we don’t always seem to get along, inwardly I admire him even though I would never tell him. My brother is amazingly determined and never gives up in anything that he does. On the football pitch he is the smallest and not very athletic looking but he fights the hardest and is one of the best soccer players that I know. He has taught me that if you try hard you can get where you want to go and in many aspects I am jealous of his tenacity. He always upholds his integrity and honesty and never gives into peer pressure. He is both Head Boy and House Captain at his school and for this he does get a little flak, but he always stands up for himself and never lets anyone get the better of him. For this I admire his character and although I have picked on him all my life he continues to stick by with the utmost loyalty, which is something I respect and try to manipulate in my own character.

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