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LatinitasMagazine.org - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

A vast majority of my life is influenced by my mother's side of the family. Most of my dad's family lives in a different city than the one in which I live, so I hardly see them. Instead, I spent most of my time with my mom's many sisters. Each of her six sisters taught me something about myself that has shaped me into who I am today. I learned to think outside the box and find creative ways of fixing my problems. My aunts taught me that laughter is the best medicine and they gave me daily doses that had me in stitches. I learned that all women have a special something that makes us beautiful. All my aunts look completed unrelated and they couldn't be more different, but I know that every single one is truly and genuinely beautiful inside and out. My aunts have taught me the meaning of a tried and true sisterhood and that is such an important lesson. 

When I was growing up, my mom's side of the family only had two girls: my cousin and me. I guess because my mom had so many sister and only two brothers, God decided to fill our family with boys. I loved and still love spending time with all my male cousins and my brothers, but my cousin Briscia was and is special. She was like the sister I never had.. and never needed. I've always had her to fill the potential sister void. She taught me valuable lessons, too. Although she is tiny, she's a firecracker; we're complete opposites. Her courage taught me to be brave and stand up for myself. I knew I had her if I were to get picked on, but she taught me not to need her. Thanks to her, I'm courageous and proud to be who I am. 

Of course, I have gotten the most inspiration and guidance from my mother. She has taught me to be a giving, compassionate woman. She has taught me loyalty and forgiveness. I have to admit that I'm kind of a selfish person sometimes, but whenever I stray too far and I start being way too selfish, I always remember my mother, the most selfless woman I know. She is an example of a good and honest woman and that is exactly what I want to be. She has taught me that the real ideals of life aren't monetary or superficial, but they are about being there for one another and being a caring human being. 

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