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I’m an Italian. I was born with my heart on my sleeve, a fire in my soul, and a mouth I can’t control. For most of my childhood, before I took the time to understand my Italian heritage, I was fiercely under the impression that my life was a combination of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and “Moonstruck.” Talking with my hands more than with my words, holding a grudge for god only knows how long, and serving up some kind of dead pig or cow for every meal was (and still is) my reality.

So, as of now, you know I come from a family of Italians. I also come from a family of doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, lawyers, and artists.

"Family - to me - is everything"

I have never known a time where my family hasn’t been around for me. Someone is at every show, every reading, every school function- someone made it there. If it wasn’t my parents, it was one of my many aunts or uncles. If it wasn’t one of them it was my babysitter. Someone has always rooted for me, and that, to me, is invaluable and shaped who I am as a person.

We fight though - boy do we fight! We fight for each other. Where else are you going to learn to fight for love, if not from your own family? It’s times like these, in the this crazy point in my life, that I have started to really focus on how fiercely I love things. My family has a fierceness for love for each other that empowers others, and that empowers each other.

I am going to tell many stories about my family here; of their importance in my life, and of their roles in society. My views, let’s face it, will be extremely biased. But I hope that in this exercise, that I can encourage others to write about their experience with their families. The imperfection of it all is something that I not only laugh at, but I value.

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