This year, in September, is my College Graduation!
One of my final projects is to write an autobiography of my life.
Then after writing it I have to publish it, in some form, and share it with others.
I guess it’s a way to get us to see where we were before and where we are going.
Let’s start from the beginning…
I was born in New Jersey, raised in NJ and RI by my mother and grandmother. Two very strong women and
amazing role models! My mother was military and an Officer since I was 2 years old.
I am Puerto Rican and now 28 years old.
Before passing away my aunt came up with my first name, which means Orchid in Spanish but she always
called me Flor.
I was raised around a very large family. I apologize to anyone who feels left out, I still love and appreciate you.
My family members remind me of things we used to do when we were younger. Playing, fighting and just hanging out. They told me, when I was a baby my grandpa would lay me on his belly facing the TV and we would watch wrestling together. I was one of the youngest ones in our group. Spoiled by grandma because I was her favorite.
Then my mother met someone who was really cool. An Italian fellow from work who I remembered bringing us shark shaped fruit snacks as an ice breaker. A couple years later they got married and he became my Dad. My biological father only contacted us because he was forced to pay child support, but once that was over (when I turned 18) he contacted me maybe once or twice a year. I’m his youngest child. So my step father became my Dad. Dad taught me everything proper. I always wondered why he was always “busting my chops” but now I realized it was all for a good reason… my future.
My younger brother came along and I was overjoyed! A little brother, and he was the family miracle baby. So premature, we could hold him with one hand, but still super adorable. He was so small they had to stuff his Halloween costume (newborn size) just so it could fit. Two years later my younger sister came along and that was also exciting news because now I was the big sister to the little sister. I remember being excited and overwhelmed about being a big sister but unfortunately I don’t remember much of my youth. The reason why will come later.
Now for the parts I do remember clearly
I remember starting to face paint at 11 years old at a carnival at the church we attended, as a last minute volunteer. I remember going to Barbizon School for Models when I was 14 years old, for a year.
I remember being a camper for three years, a Jr. helper for three years, a Jr. counselor for three years and a Sr. counselor for three years at a camp in NJ that I am honored to volunteer at.
In 2001 I won Ms. Congeniality for Ms. Teen Rhode Island in Providence, RI and was given the opportunity to advance to Mrs. Teen America but never went.
I attended to two High Schools and that was rough. Freshman year I went to school in New Jersey with my older sister who was a senior. Then Sophomore and Junior years I went to a high school in Rhode Island. I made a decision my Junior year that I wanted to graduate where my older sister did. I finished my Junior year and moved back for my senior year. Unfortunately I was exhausted most of my senior year because my transcripts were screwed up from Rhode Island causing me to have to take a full load of classes at the High School and go to night school in order to graduate that year with my classmates. During the day I took classes and at night I took Anatomy and Trigonometry. Plus the sports I played and clubs I was in.
This wasn’t the first time my transcripts were screwed up from Rhode Island. In third grade there was a mix up and I had to repeat the grade the following year.
So there I was, 18, just graduated High School and ready to take on the new challenges of the world. I joined the Air Force January 2004 but ended up switching branches and joining the Marine Corps. In between waiting on the Air Force and switching to the Marine Corps I worked as a sales associate for Mandee, clothing store in New Jersey.
December 2004, before Christmas I was sitting at MEPS waiting for my ride to the airport, where the first plane ride ever in my life took me to South Carolina, then the bus got me to Parris Island, for my Marine Corps Boot Camp Training.
I had cut all my hair off and donated it but also because it’s easier to go through boot camp with shorter hair.
The Marine Corps taught me so much more than being a Marine. We were taught discipline, respect, honor, courage, commitment, Semper Fidelis (always faithful), marching, physical training, knowledge (USMC history), proper eating techniques, proper diet (food intake), swimming, shooting weapons, living in the field, surviving, maturity, first aid, and so much more.
I went to Boot Camp in Parris Island, South Carolina, then Marine Combat Training in Camp Geiger, North Carolina, Military Occupational Specialty School in Camp Johnson, North Carolina then my first duty station. Quantico, Virginia was my first duty station. Initially I was sent to work for the Promotions Branch but that turned out to be a clerical error, I was supposed to be at Marine Security Guard Battalion (name has changed) and was sent there a month later. I started in the mailing room and then someone saw my motivation and took me over to schools side where I became instructor staff and helped teach Marines to become Embassy Guards. Then in the middle of 2006 I moved to my next duty station in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Where I worked in four different types of administration jobs and offices and finished my four year contract. During my time as an instructor there was an accident during training that left me with a bad shoulder and other issues.
In 2005 I was engaged, we got married and I was pregnant by 2006. Lisa was born and I became very sick. The doctors couldn’t figure out what it was and it ruined my marriage. By 2008 I was divorced and finally diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Sjogren’s Syndrome. By that time I was working in the “civilian world” for two years and started school at the end of 2008. I worked as a Face Painter at the Farmers Market for four years, a Professional Clown for two years, Marketing Manager for one year, President of the Farmers Market Association for one year, Secretary and Treasurer of the Clown Alley for one year, Public Relations Official at the College I attended for two years with advertising responsibilities, Fry Cook for one year, and Cook and Chef for two years.
By 2010 my ex-husband and I had joint custody and my daughter is going to a great school. She is very tall for her age and smart too. Lisa is my life and strength.
In September of 2011 I started dating Luis, we got married and we moved to New York by January 2012. I started my Bachelor degree at University of Phoenix, on campus and graduate in September. In July 2013 Luis asked me for a divorce, wasn’t ready for a life time commitment. August 2013 I applied for work as a security guard and worked in three different locations throughout the year, not counting the over time locations. Now I am constantly thinking of fun, artsy, and smart ways to fill my time besides work and homework.
More to come…