Who I am and Why
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Hi, I’m Genesis and although you may be a stranger, I am going to share some of my deepest thoughts with you. I want to get to know you and by sharing my story, I hope you allow me to get to know you too. These words are hard to admit to myself and even harder to share with the world. But if you’re reading this, it must mean that I did.
At one point in my life, being underprivileged was a huge part of my identity. Now what does that mean?
“Underprivileged” is the nice way of saying that you’re not enjoying the same standard of living as the majority of society. It meant that my family income was extremely low. We survived off of food stamps and donations from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We lived in unfavorable neighborhoods where gangs filled the streets and getting good grades was the last thing on everyone’s minds.
But how bad was it?
I remember dreading to ask my mom for $25 to go on a kindergarten field trip. I was afraid that we didn’t have it. I knew how much $25 meant to us. How could I be so selfish and ask to use it towards a school trip?
As a 12 year old, I remember crying on the kitchen floor because there was no food in our pantry. Although our pantry was rarely full, food was something we were always so grateful for when we had it.
From elementary and into high school, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. We often lived in a tiny bedroom in someone else’s house or in a basement under another family who simply didn’t understand. No matter where we lived, I was too self-conscious to invite anyone over.
It was obvious to me at a very young age that I was part of a lower class society that I didn’t want to be in. At 12 years old, I had a dream of graduating high school, being a first-generation college student, and one day working at a big tech company.
Even though these desires seemed so distant and impossible at times, I decided early on I wasn’t going to let our lack of money stop me. Although my single mom couldn’t help me in school because of her 3+ jobs, I used my teachers and counselors to help keep me focused. I am happy and humbled to say that I have accomplished all of the things I dreamed of.
Being poor was hard, but having an atypical family makeup sometimes felt even harder. It was difficult not to envy the seemingly comfortable and happy home life of my friends. I remember feeling awkward when my friend’s parents would ask about my dad. What would I say? “He isn’t part of my life?” “He left our family when I was 5 years old?”
No matter what my response was, that conversation was and remains difficult. Although my family consisted of a hard-working mom and a disinterested father, I kept pushing through and relied on gratitude to fuel me for what I wanted to become.
Now, why should you care about my story? I want to dedicate my life to helping you believe. Your circumstances do not define you. You are undefined and who you want to be in the future starts with how much you believe today. Like me, one day you will be grateful for the circumstances that you once despised.
Follow me on this journey to helping you believe.