From the time I was aged 16 to 25, my words and actions carried a lot of weight within my family. At the time, I felt it was a burden, but now I realize that it was a great privilege, and that it was helpful and conducive to personal growth for myself, my siblings, and my parents. My parents had immigrated to the United States from Macedonia. They were traditional and socially restrictive. I am the oldest of 5 kids, and I paved the way for my younger sisters by speaking up and speaking out against these social restrictions, especially as they pertained to women. At the time, I was viewed as a trouble maker as my parents were not comfortable with this change. However, even though it felt like they weren’t listening at the time, they actually were. My voice made a difference.
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