Growing up, I was noticeably quiet with a big imagination, and I found immense joy in visually expressing my ideas, feelings, and values. Since I was a child, I have viewed life as an endless process of trial and error; from which, I have asked many questions. I have asked so many questions that I have annoyed others through discovery learning. It seems as if I have always believed in adaptation, but this process does not just mean prosperity or wealth and success (e.g., toxins change and grow too). In search of self-actualization, I have been growing slowly while nurturing the seeds in my soles in hopes that one day I will shoot up like a bamboo tree.
My name is Melissa, and I am the middle child; I have four siblings. I was born in 1985 at 12:35 am on Veteran’s Day, in Brooklyn, New York at the Brookdale Hospital Medical Center. Before I was born, my father sang to my mother’s belly and fleetingly gave me the nickname, China.
Both of my parents were born in the Dominican Republic. My mother was born in 1960, in La Vega, one of the 31 provinces of the Dominican Republic, and was 25 years old at the time. My father was born in 1959, in Moca, the capital of Espaillat province, and was currently 26 years old. Weighing 7 lbs. with 2 oz (about 56.7 g), I was a fuzzy baby with a head full of hair and puffy cheeks that were big enough to keep my eyes always squinting. Impressed with my physical characteristics from infancy, I was deeply admired (as all children should be).
My mother’s father (my grandfather) was a police officer in the Dominican Republic; the job required them to temporarily live a nomadic lifestyle. She grew up with two brothers and five sisters! At 5 years of age, my mother moved from a community called Canca La Piedra in Tamboril (a municipality of the Santiago province) to live in Troy Ave, Brooklyn, New York.
She was just a few months away from getting her high school diploma from George Wingate High School, but the exams made her too anxious, thus she never graduated. And my…