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I am an only child and live in a two-parent home, and typically everything is fairly calm. My parents come from different backgrounds, which can sometimes cause tension between all of us.
My dad grew up in an impoverished area on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and he decided to be a lawyer so that his family would not have to struggle as much as he did when he was growing up. He works very hard, sometimes too hard, and his attitude of "if you want it done right, do it yourself" has impacted me both positively and negatively.
My mom grew up in Memphis, and while her parents were wealthy, she had a very strained relationship with her mother. Parents often mimic the behaviors of their parents, and some of that has transferred to our relationship and the way I view other people's mother/daughter relationships.
Another thing about my mom is that she has Multiple Sclerosis, and she was diagnosed when I was in 8th grade. She's incredibly tired all of the time and has a diminishing memory and control of her muscles and motor functions.
As a result of my dad's being gone a lot and my mom's illness, I have grown up wanting to make them very proud, especially in school. I grew up prioritizing school over most other things, which has been something I struggled to reconcile once I got to college.
Over the past four years, I've been trying to navigate how to incorporate my enjoyment of school into a more balanced lifestyle, and it's something that I'm keenly aware of as I move into classroom teaching. No one person can do it all.
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