You are probably all wondering why this photo is the first thing that shows up in my post. Besides the fact that it was one of my photography pieces that I really enjoyed shooting, it is also a view of my city. I always believed that a city doesn’t define you, instead you define yourself regardless of where you come from. I was born and raised in Paterson, NJ. It’s an urban town 15 minutes away from New York City. We’re the home to one of the nation’s landmark, The Great Falls. We are also the town where Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the New York Giants grew up in. (As well as safety from the Denver Broncos, Mike Adams, who happens to be in Superbowl 48)
But I’m a big fan of the New York Giants, when I say big, I mean like huge! I even named my dog after their star quarterback. I have a five year old female chihuahua named Ellie Manning. She has become the baby of the house and that’s probably because both my sister and I left my mom around the same time last year. I do not mean abandoned, I mean we decided to take the next step into our journey. You see, my sister is ten years older than me. She has been living with us until last year. She decided to take the next step in her journey and move out! It was a big change for me to adjust to. It must have been harder on my mom when she learned that I was leaving for college in a few months as well.
The photo above is a family portrait from more than 10 years ago. The only reason I know that is because my parents have been separated for about 11 years now. It’s crazy how much has changed in the past ten years. I’m not a baby anymore. I am now the college student that my mom was very upset to leave at Rutgers University last September. Both my parents had a hard time adjusting to my new transition, but they also remembered that they have been dreaming of this day since I was born. My father is a social butterfly, I think that’s where I get my outgoing personality from. He’s probably the most confident man I have met and he’s never afraid to be himself. I love having that vibe, it makes me want to bring out the best in myself. My mom is very strict and serious about everything. Sometimes I wonder how my parents were together for so long while being complete opposites. Truth is, they’ve taught me and raised me to be a fine woman even when having different perspectives.
Earlier I mentioned that my parents were dreaming of the day I left for college. Education is something very important and valuable to my parents, and to my sister and I. You see, both my parents came to the U.S. from Perú about 22 years ago. They never had the opportunity to finish high school. The day my sister graduated from Rutgers University was probably the proudest moment of their lives. For them to be experiencing it all over again, 6 years later is a blessing. My sister is my role model. She is ten years older than me but we couldn’t be any closer. She is my inspiration. One of my biggest goals in life is to make her proud. My family means a lot to me. College and being away from home has definitely helped me appreciate my family. I know they are my number one supporters in everything I do and will never leave my side.
Back in High School, I was the boss! I was captain of the soccer team and president of the National Honor Society! I had it all. The Title. The friends. The car. Even the looks (LOL). I never really appreciated that until I got to college. College made me feel like I was a nobody. I didn’t know it would be such a hard transition. I decided to get involved in college so I started by joining The Daily Targum as a contributing photographer. I love photography. Ever since, I’ve met tons of people including new friends around campus but also some cool people like Marc Ecko and Cory Booker. My photography brand name is Fierceday Photography. College is only starting and I’ve learned to love it, get involved and work hard. I hope one day, when I’m successful, I can sing Drake’s song, “Started From the Bottom”
I use social networks for everything! I love having a log of all the activities I was part of, my achievements, my experiences and just my thoughts and ideas as that very moment. I love Twitter! In 140 characters or less I have the ability to write about many different things. I feel that with social media you have the power to decide what people know and when they know it. I am a big Facebook user, as well as Instagram. Through these social networks sites I developed a name which many of my friends are used to. It’s @fierceday (it eventually transformed to several different ones such as f13rceday or fierceday01). I enjoy keeping in touch with family, friends, celebrities and the community through social networks. It might also explain why I am planning on majoring in Communications and Journalism and Media Studies. I have been through a handful of major options, flipping back and forth, but I think I’ve finally made my decision.
All in all, this is only a chapter of my book. I have plenty of written chapters before but also plenty of chapters ahead. I am a very positive person who is always smiling and hopes the best for everyone. Although I can be very strict and sometimes too blunt, I truly care about the people who have stuck by my side. Everyone makes mistakes, but these mistakes are simply experiences. Without experiences we wouldn’t be able to better ourselves. If there’s a message I can share and would like you to take from me, it would be: “It does not matter who you were yesterday, or who you are today, but instead who you want to be tomorrow.”