Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
At the age of six, I was given a chance comparable to Pandora's box. On February 1, 1999, in Raleigh, North Carolina, I had the opportunity to name my youngest baby sister. The thought process included going through the list of names of my best friends in my first grade class and the consideration of naming her "Molly" after the main character in my favorite TV show, "Big Comfy Couch." Eventually, I came to the conclusion of naming her "Kristin" because it had a "Kuh" sound and because the name "Catherine" has the same sound. Catherine was the name of my other sister. I thought that if I had let my imagination go wild, my dad would have disapproved. It was important to me to be approved by my dad because my suggestions couldn't be more of a disappointment than I already was. I still recall the heaviness and regret that hung in the air as my dad walked away to name the baby, Kristin, a name he had not expected to give. The perfect list of names for his son was dashed, alongside our family's tradition of male heirs that had lasted for decades.
Before the birth of my youngest sister, Kristin, my younger sister Catherine was attempt number two. When Catherine came home from the hospital in my mother's gentle arms, I saw a facial expression on my dad that was trying to hide a myriad of emotions. Even at a young age, I could suspect disappointment. I looked away and hoped it would fade because I wanted Catherine to be safe. Unfortunately, when Kristin came home, the expression came back and I finally realized why it had returned. To him we were failures. I could envision the thought cloud floating above my dad's head going "poof, poof" because no child of his would be able to fulfill his imagination of fatherhood. My dad would never go to the batting cage, spend hours upon hours trying to get past the one level on the hottest video game in stores, or even be able to say, "like father, like son."
Within my family, my dad is the first son of my grandfather, who is also the first son; my sisters and I brought shame to our family line. Throughout my life, I have been climbing mountain after mountain to reach the Ivory Tower of my grandparents' and father's expectations. Even after decades of feminist movements around the world, there are still nations that refuse to move forward; they choose to value the male more than the female. The inability to carry on the family name as a female is the root of this burden. My dream to rid the world of gender inequality is a product of my life experience. I am aware that my dream is of great magnitude, but to prove the value of women around the world, dreaming big is what I must do.
polished level? how effective/memorable will it be to the reader?
constructive criticism appreciated!