Time For a Family Meeting

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To be frank, finding someone willing to share their life was rather hard; if anything, strangers in the past seemed to open up to me more than my own family members. A cousin of mine, Aracely Ruiz agreed and shared the not the bright moments of growing up. This cousin, in particular, has always carried herself in a run and positive manner. Aracely is always the one to make jokes throughout an entire family reunion – this interview showcased what was behind her drollery.

I found that interviewing someone with such an emotional story is one of the hardest things to do (I can only imagine being on the other side as well, allowing myself to be vulnerable). I believe that during an interview it is important to maintain a level of composure while still being considerate of the interviewee. Keeping this in mind, I had to remind myself to be attentive in order ask appropriate follow-up questions. This assignment only made me realize how important follow-up questions are; without them, there wouldn’t be a story to write and/or share with the rest of the world.

Of course, not every interview will always revolve around ones hardships – for not every story has a bad ending. This experience, however, has allowed me to grow as an interviewer in the sense that I can adapt myself to multifarious situations.

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Driving Solo

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Where one might grow up admiring their father from between their arms, Aracely Ruiz saw her father through bars on Easter between 11am to 3pm; the visitation hours of the prison nearby.

Upon being released from his strenuous sentence, Ruiz was under the impression of starting a strong relationship with her father. As time passed, however, Ruiz came to the realization that this would not be the case.

“October 18, 2014 was the day I thought things would change. It was the first time in ten years that I had seem [my dad] in something other than grey sweats and a tank top. He got a job and everything was looking up for me,” Ruiz said. “Until he found himself a girlfriend – a new family. It was as if he forgot he had kids of his own; she became the only priority in his life.”

Ruiz found that, as time passed, her father only became more distant and less of a dad.

“He would flip out if I even asked for five dollars to buy a Coaster ticket,” Ruiz said. “It was like I still didn’t have a dad in my life… again.”

At this time, Ruiz began to resent her father for the endless neglection she felt.

“He didn’t care about me so I wantes nothing to do with him,” Ruiz said. “I still don’t and that’s really sad to realize.”

Ruiz knew that to help herself cope, being doleful was not the answer. This conclusion allowed Ruiz to push herself to do something that would better her confidence.

“I always said I wanted my own car; but it’s really so much more that,” Ruiz said. “I wanted to do something for myself, to show that I didn’t need a father to do things for me.”

Where most find themselves alongside their parents once entering the world of adulthood, Ruiz found herself proud of the life she has laid out for herself.

“I’m only 18 years old and I provide myself with what I need all on my own,” Ruiz said. “I have my own job now and am enrolled in college; both of which I drive myself to in my own lil’ PT Cruiser… purchased without my father’s paycheck.”

Ruiz explains that one should not be dependant on someone else for their own success.

“No one but yourself should determine how far you go in life. If you want to make something out of yourself, you need to be the one to do it. You. You are strong enough to rely on yourself,” Ruiz said. “God knows I am.”