The usual first impression that I leave goes as follows (so I'm told): totally sweet, somewhat shy and very amicable.
But don't be fooled.
Everyone that gets to know me learns that I'm a little too feisty. I'm eager to debate, I have strong opinions and, yes, I'll bite. And I won't be changing anytime soon. My dad calls me a driver. He's right. I'm strong-willed and I know the way I'm going, yessir.
And I'm so very proud of it. Because this feistiness, it pumps wildly through my blood.
It makes me think of my Grandma Helen, who despite being eaten alive my Parkinson's and cancer her last few months, never came across as weak or helpless. The flame inside burned passionately, as she'd grab a Budweiser and divulge stories of her glory days in the 1940s, sitting as tall as her fragile body would allow--a strong statue of a woman that I admired.
And I think of my Mom. Who endured years of beating from her first husband, and would try to accept it for the sake of her daughter, my sister. She'd get thrown against the wall, all 110 pounds of her, but she never let him break her; all the while, being thousands of miles away from her home country. She finally fled when she couldn't take it anymore and the bruises didn't foil her escape plan.
And I think of how I was the third attempt for my parents. There were two miscarriages before me, but somehow I held on and was even born six weeks early, itching to get out! Although my heart wasn't fully developed, my lungs were already mature--I was eager to breathe life in the best I could. Being an incubator baby, I even sported a mohawk haircut (so they could put little testers on me)--I was a week-old warrior.
And so this feisty attitude, I won't turn it down. I won't pretend to be dainty all time. If you piss me off, you'll know about it.
And remember, I warned you that I'm a biter. Don't say I never told you so.