This photo was taken nearly thirty years ago. That’s me on the far right, proudly donning a pointy party hat in celebration of my younger sister’s first birthday.
At the age of three I was a healthy toddler growing up in a poor neighborhood in Austin, Texas. My parents were both in their early twenties when I was born; they were still kids themselves in college. As a result, we didn’t have enough resources for things like big birthday parties, fresh fruits and vegetables, or toys. I can remember times when the power would go out in the house and we had to call my mom to turn it back on again. But we were a resilient family. We worked hard and kept moving.