Chapter Three

My Teenage Years and early Twenties

I felt like an adult for the first time when

I remember feeling like an adult when I left for Ethiopia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. It was the first decision I made entirely on my own, without the intervention or help from either of my parents.


My closest friends in high school are still my closest friends today. We did everything together. We went to games together, we hung out on weekends, we went out to eat, to football and basketball games.


I played for the women's basketball team and was also on the yearbook, which I loved.

Rite of Passage

I had my bat mitzvah when I was fourteen years old. I shared the experience with my sister, which as of today still remains one of my most favorite and meaningful memories from my youth.


I graduated in May 1991. We had a family celebration after the ceremony. A few of our closest family friends came to my dad's house for a BBQ.

First Job

My first job was at the Confection Connection. A family friend owned the business and hired me at 14 years, then that family friend sold the business to my aunt and I worked for her. My junior and senior year of high school I worked at Benetton, which I loved!

First Place

I moved out of my family house at 18 years old and into a dorm room at the University of Kansas.

Early Relationships

I did not. However, I did meet someone important to me after college, as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Years After High School

I attended the University of Kansas. It's where I always anticipated going. When I was young I wasn't very adventurous and always thought I would go to college close to home.

I was married to a man I met as a Peace Corps Volunteer for 18 years. We were a couple for 8 years before that, so together for 26 years. More than half of my life.

We had a bit of an unconventional relationship. We travelled overland through Eastern and Southern Africa, which really tested our relationship. We spent five months travelling through the continent before heading to Europe and finally the US. We had a long courtship. I wanted to wait until I was in my thirties before getting married, as the only couple I knew who were married was my aunt and uncle and they gave me two pieces of advice; (1): Have your own interests and (2): Wait until you are in your thirties before getting married. Since their relationship worked, I figured they must know what works!

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