My old life was a far cry from what it is now. I’ve undergone a sort of metamorphosis. I was looking at an old photo montage I made back when grandpa died. Then I started looking up my aunt’s name on the Internet. I found out that she was quite brilliant as is her husband and son. She’s into computers also. So I guess the whole computer geek thing is a genetic thing. I never knew until the age of 28 that my aunt was an inventor or a scholar. Part of me wishes I’d stayed with my dad when I was younger because I probably would’ve attained my goals much faster. The dynamic between the two sides of my family is unusual. My mom comes from dirt poor surroundings. She’s the eldest of 6 children. Granny (God rest her soul), felt it was prudent to have all these kids to keep the men around. It just never panned out that way. So instead, my mom’s been raising kids since she first hit puberty. Not her kids but my Grannies kids. She was pulled out of school to raise these kids and being the oldest sibling she’s always felt responsible for her younger siblings. See my mom’s family may not come from much but the one thing they have that I don’t see in a lot of other families is that loyalty and that kinship. She represents the side of me that stays grounded. My dad on the other hand comes from a well-to-do family with very old fashioned values. I would almost say they were snobs. But snobs or not I still love them. They raised me with standards and created this melting pot of unique traits and attributes that you’ll never find. I get my elitist mentality from that side of the family and at times I find I’m in a mental conflict. I tend to date women who would be considered beneath my stature by my family as a sign of rebellion. I think a lot of who I am now as a person can be attributed to the way dad is and the rest of the Francis’s are. Nobody says “I love you” on that side of the family. Nobody is overtly emotional. They all maintain a certain kind of stone-faced decorum which makes it really hard to relate to them. I know that I am everything they despise. The black sheep. The child with no (for a lack of better words) “Broughtupsy” (consult the West Indian Dictionary). I’m the one child that goes against the grain. The one who hung with the bad chicks in high school and would skip class. The one who wore miniskirts to the mall and thought she was grown even though she knew pops hated it. I strive to be everything he is not.