Strong Girl, Raised

My parents had only daughters, 2 of us. Their motto and reference for thinking in raising us girls was “Raise Strong Girls”. They taught me to be smart, capable, and about what matters. 
Be Smart: My parents placed me in an environment, culture, and society where knowledge really is power. Learn, simply for the sake of learning. Read poetry simply because it invigorates your mind. The Church values knowledge and learning. Through this, also introduced to me and taught by my parents, I learned to value knowledge. Love to learn. I was taught that I have been blessed with a brain, and with that I have a responsibility to fill and use it. Their parents taught them the same lesson, and it was passed down to me. My poetry book is the same as one my grandpa has. His is heavily worn, all the pages read, spine held together by duct tape. I watch him slowly turn through the pages, reciting the poems printed on the pages, but not reading them. He pulls them deep from memory, from a place deeper than he seems to be able to access for other information. This, these familiar, learned, beautiful words are what he remembers. What you know is a solace, a comfort, a friend when all other things leave you. 
Be Capable: I learned to be capable, be independent. My place in the world is wherever I want to be. I have chosen to become a teacher, but eventually to stay home with my family. I was taught that what I can do is important. I need to have the potential to be completely independent. Should I need to support my family, and myself; I need to have the skills to do so. Throughout college I have taken classes in electronics, robotics, woodworking, sewing, cooking, finance, parenting, nutrition, interior design, among others. I am learning skills that I can use to take care of my family, if the need arises.
Know what matters: I learned that friends may come and go, but family is where time matters. I will always have my family and those relationships are more important than anything. I was taught to stay close to family members, help them, even when it means sacrificing something that I want, or time that I want to use elsewhere. The gospel matters. It also is more important than anything. Whatever happens, I will always have my family, and the Church.
Here I am, as a strong daughter, Raised.

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