Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Erika Holley
Baltimore, Maryland USA



I was born at Franklin Square Hospital about 22 years ago in the afternoon. My daddy says that my momma named me after a soap opera character, but my momma says she named me Erika Lynn because she always liked that name. She said that she thought about naming me Alexander, but I'm glad that she gave me a name that means "Pretty Ruler."
I spent the first three years of my life in a 'suburban ghetto' before my daddy, momma and my older sister moved into a family friendly townhouse called Riverside. Even though I was ready to leave this small little town once I graduated from high school, I have grown to be proud of my home and to appreciate my childhood and upbringing.
My momma was and is a good momma who believed in tender care as well as tough love. She beat my sister and me when we were bad, but she comforted us when we were sick. She bragged on us, laughed with us and taught has how to be ladies.
My father was the bread winner; he delivered and continues to deliver US mail as well as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I always went to my dad when I was having problems. He was easy to talk to and always came up with a simple and effective solution to my little school troubles.
I think that my momma got jealous that my sister and I revered our father so much when we spent most of our time under her wing. At any rate, my parents were and still are the best parents in the world. Despite their short comings they are wonderfully supportive and fun loving parents.
I received good grades in grade school. I got upset whenever I got a B., because that letter along with C, D and E were just not apart of my vocabulary. I was always one of the top of the class. Sometimes I would get upset when students "made fun of me" for being smart. I also had an image complex because I was extremely shy. I thought that everyone thought that I was a weirdo because I did not talk much. I honestly don't know why I did not talk much in school. I had opinions and I had views that I wanted to share, but something always held me back.
I didn't really have many friends but I always had a couple of good friends. My sister was and still is my best friend. Even though she is two and a half years older than me, we would do almost everything together, including go on weekend shopping trips with our shopaholic grandmother. Granny Bar had springs in her legs that kept her going and going up and down the isles. Warnings of "the store is closing in five minutes" did not seem to faze her. Through my generous grandmother, I have learned to be altruistic, adventurous, and a definitely a bargain shopper!
I received my first keyboard when I was four years old. I've been playing off and on since. I wish I took private piano lessons for more than a couple of years, but at least I got to take private flute lessons by sixth grade, (I started tooting my flute in fourth grade.)
Music has always been a big part of my life. For many years my father was the minister music at church before he became assistant pastor at the church that I grew up in. At family gatherings, singing was always apart of the festivities. For some unknown reason, I would dread having my aunts pull me to sing when I did not want to sing. I will never forget when my grandmother persuaded me to come out of the backroom to join in the singing. She said that I had the best voice out of them all and that put some fire under my wings. I wonder if that was the moment when I became competitive or if this streak was always there.
I was first chair in middle school and high school band and orchestra. (First chair means that you're the most skilled person in your instrumental section.) Oh how I loved playing the flute. I dreamed of attending the prestigious music conservatory Peabody in Baltimore. In eleventh grade the flute took a back seat once I turned 16 and was allowed to date boys. I shouldn't blame the decline of my flute fervor on boys, but they I would be lying if I said that they did not have an impact on me. My first boyfriend's name was Darrel. He was light skin, tall and cute with a backwoods southern Tennessee accent, but as sweet and cute as he was, he was sort of a....airhead. Then I met Danton, he was tall, dark and handsome too. We had a lot in common, church was our life and music was not far behind from it. We enjoyed four topsy turvey years until we broke up while I was in college. What a mess, what a mess!
My college years have been good. I've changed in so many ways intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and even romantically. I always knew that I'd do music, but I did not think that I would go to UMBC. I truly believe that God has ordered my steps. He has allowed me to step into UMBC and has allowed me to experience some wonderful divine collections. Here at UMBC I've met the best roommate Laura, the best teachers, Jackson, Cella, Yoshioka, genius like Joe, and then there was...Juan Carlos....
My life is grand. There has been drama in between the lines of these pages. I am currently a non graduating senior majoring in Music Education. I teach private piano lessons to ten students and I teach general music at Sister's Academy, which is a private middle school for underprivileged inner city girls. I also serve as the minister music of El Shaddai Temple of Jesus Christ and I also minister with the UMBC Gospel choir which I love! My last year of UMBC undergrad will consist of student teaching.
My greatest priority is my relationship with God and my second greatest priority is my relationship with my neighbor, (those people around me). Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew and then I have break downs, but I'm learning that I even though I am brilliant, I am not a robot.
I believe that I am nothing with out Jesus Christ. It is He who has blessed me with a wonderful life despite of its ups and downs. I love life and I look forward to a bright future, having a prolific music career, getting married, and having bambinos. I want to be a humanitarian, a philanthropist, and an author. (Ever since I was a little girl I loved to read and write.) Who knows what tomorrow holds, but since God is there it doesn't matter.
This week I'm turning 22 and in a couple of weeks I'm having a birthday part at my sister's pad. I'm inviting all of my many friends (since I have in fact grown out of my shyness) and we will have tasty food and good music, fun games and I'm going to make everyone dance.