Wow! This is a whole lot more nerve-wracking than I anticipated…I’ve had a thought in my mind for so long about wanting to start my own blog, but I never got around to it until now. I know part of that was out of fear, but I also wanted to ensure that I would be able to give my site the time, commitment, and effort I wanted to in order to really make it something I can take pride in. I needed to know that if I did it, I would go all-in and give my whole heart and mind to it (something I try to do in every part of my life). To start out, I guess it would make sense to tell you all a little bit about myself, who I am, where I’m from, how I was brought up, etc. I assume an introduction to my blog calls for an introduction to ME, so here we go!
My name is Kamryn Gooden, I am 20 years old, and I am currently a third year college student at the University of San Diego (though I plan on graduating this May). I am originally from a small suburban town Glendora, CA, just outside of Pasadena and other more well-known cities. I grew up in the same home in Glendora my whole life, and my dad still resides there today. Although at times I wished I lived in a bigger and more exciting city, I now look back and am so grateful to have grown up in such a wonderful town and community. Still, I am absolutely LOVING everything about San Diego and am so grateful everyday that this is the decision I made.
I have two older sisters, Courtney and McKenna, who are 9 and 6 years older than me, respectively. Despite our immense age gaps, however, there was never a moment in time throughout my childhood where I didn’t consider both of them my built-in best friends. I can’t explain how wonderful and dreamlike my childhood really was. I hesitate in saying that anything is perfect, because I know that that’s a far-fetched and often unattainable standard for anything in life. Still, my childhood was pretty close to that, at least in my eyes. Some of my very first memories revolve around my childhood home, spending time with my family and creating memories that were to be cherished forever. One of the very first memories I have in my mind is going to preschool when I was just three years old. I remember distinctly how much I hated going, and how difficult it was for me everyday to be away from my mom. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and she took great pride in raising all three of her girls. Not only had she dreamt of simply being a mother and raising kids her whole life, but she loved being with us so very much and always wanted to be close. She was successful in doing so, and in creating a relationship with each of us that was very special, enabling her to watch us grow everyday and never miss a single step. The extent to which my mom valued closeness surely impacted my family as a whole, for everything I remember about my very early childhood involves nothing more than all of us being together and being happy. Family holidays, birthdays, and events were always something to be looked forward to in my family, and although w didn’t necessarily have the biggest family or see our extended relatives very often, the five of us were always more than happy to spend quality time together and make unforgettable memories. And although holidays and marked calendar events were much anticipated and a cue for excitement, it was the normal and subtle simplicity of our day-to-day lives that was most special to me.
Apart from the time spent with my family standing out in my memories of growing up, sports were also such a HUGE part of my7 life and how I came to be the ultra-competitive, perfectionistic, athletically-inclined person that I am. I began playing soccer (or rather, kicking the ball around with my dad on the sidelines) when I was just two years old, mainly as a result of being around it so often. Both of my sisters played soccer all throughout their childhood, and sure enough, being tagged along and dragged to every soccer field in California at such a young age to watch them play was enough to make me fall in love with the sport, too. My oldest sister Courtney played for only a few short years before choosing to fully commit herself to dancing, something she greatly excelled at. McKenna, though, continued playing soccer all the way through high school, and she became the sports figure I most looked up to and pushed myself to be like. Both of my sisters have always been amazing at everything they did or tried to do, and although I didn’t really consider it or think much of it at the time, this is probably one aspect of what so deeply ingrained my desire to be the best and achieve perfection in every area of my life at such a young age. I recall my household being very competitive, but not to the point where we didn’t honor one another or celebrate each other’s excellence. Looking back, I think my parents did a great job of allowing us all to find our passion, dedicate ourselves to it fully, and pushed us appropriately to be better versions of ourselves in every way possible. I’ve always been extremely competitive, and I think seeing my sisters constantly win at things they did and continue to strive for better definitely struck a chord with me. I wanted to be able to do the same, so I did. I’ll stop here in talking about soccer because I really could go on FOREVER. (Maybe I will make a whole separate post about that!)
Although most of my childhood and time as a young kid and teenager revolved around sports, with my parents having to maneuver around three kids to different places, somehow getting us all to where we needed to be and never missing a single game, I also remember most of my earliest years as a kid being extremely fun and creative at home. My sisters and I would make home videos on my dad’s giant camcorder, where we would film super quirky and weird things like fake news reports, interviews with each other, and different types of segments that required little direction or preparation. And man, are these a riot to watch now! We still make fun of ourselves every single day for those things lol. We just liked to create things together (as strange as they might have been), and I’m forever appreciative of both of my sisters, our wonderful relationships with one another, and all of the memories we’ve created. I just love them so very much. Our time together has always been special to each of us, and nothing has changed. Despite them being so much older (and arguably wiser haha) than me, my sisters never made me feel excluded and I always felt just as important and worthy as they did. I can’t really put into words how much they both mean to me and how much their beauty, grace, strength, and kindness has helped shape me and make me into the person I am today, but the least I could do is show them my endless love, support, and gratitude for them as often as possible. And this I find completely doable.
All in all, my early childhood and into my adolescence was amazing and wonderful in every way, and I don’t think that I would change a single thing about it if given the chance. Of course nothing is perfect and my family hit definite bumps in the road. We fought one another, went on completely dysfunctional family vacations, shared a few screams, and disagreed a number of times. But there was nothing we couldn’t endure or overcome together as a unit, and the high value my parents instilled of togetherness, connection, and love for one another is what carried us through everything that came our way. To this day, I can’t imagine there ever coming a time where we don’t communicate, assist, or cherish each other just as the human beings we are, and that is what most gives me strength even at my worst.
I think I’m going to cut myself off here, otherwise I’d end up digressing into my whole life story and boy is it too early for that! Hahaha. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about who me, my family, and got a little glimpse into what my childhood and early life consisted of. Let me know if there is anything in this blog post you’d like me to go deeper into— whether it’s family, soccer, my transition into high school, my faith, friendships, academics, etc! There is so, so much to talk about and so many directions to go, but I think this is a good place to start. If you’ve read this far, thank you so much! Be sure to leave a comment telling me what you want to see next. I hope you all have a wonderful week.