Pigeon’s Rock off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon

Here She Comes!

A Biography

July 30th, 1997. The day all hell broke loose. My mother was at work when she felt something very strange happen. She thought her mind was playing tricks, but she swore she felt a ball between her legs. Luckily, her Dermatology office was in the same building as her gynecologist and she was able to rush over in less than five minutes. When the doctor took a look, fear, excitement, and bewilderment crossed her face all at once. I was ready to come out, and I was coming out now.

My parents love to tell this story, because according to them, it explains everything about my personality. From an early age, I have always been a loud and outgoing person. When I want something done, I do everything in my power to make that happen. “A go-getter,” is what they call me. Although this aspect of my personality has been a huge contributor to what I have achieved and who I have become today, it wasn’t the most desirable trait for a loud, little girl. Our neighbors moved when I was baby, and my screaming and crying may or may not have been the reason for that.

My name is Lauren Gawey, and I am a sophomore at the University of Georgia. I am currently on the Pre-Medical track, majoring in Biology and Psychology. Everything I am comes from the people before me, who created me and put a piece of themselves within me. My dark hair and olive complexion comes from my father, which came from his Lebanese relatives before him. My laugh and ability to talk to a wall comes from my mother, and her chatty, loud relatives before her.

Starting this project, I had a pretty good idea of who I was. Well, who I thought I was. I knew that I was a lucky girl. I grew up in an incredible family, and I couldn’t imagine anything else. My parents gave my brother, sister, and I incredible opportunities that have made us into the people we are today. They encouraged us to be the best, and to desire the most out of our lives. “Never settle.” That was something they pushed everyday growing up, and continue to push even now. Whether that means to never settle in school, family, religion, love, or life in general, the idea that we are worth more than to ever settle for less than we can get is an idea that I believe has allowed us to live our lives greater than we could have ever imagined.

Learning about the struggles that my family faced in the past, and how the family bonds have remained immensely strong throughout both the good and the bad, I have learned a new meaning about the strength of my family’s love for each other. Through all the wars, the sicknesses, and making the most of what little they had, love has withstood all in my past, and the love I experience today means so much more because of the journey I have encountered throughout this project.

My father has been a constant source of love and affection in my life, and it is through his words and actions that I have learned more about myself than I ever imagined possible. I am who I am because of my past, and so I invite you into the Gawey family story, to learn the bonds of family and love that can never and will never be broken.

My dad and I at my debutante ball, 2016
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