Growing up, I was known among my siblings as "the different one". My parents probably told me that a thousand times; not always with a positive connotation, mind you. I was fiercely independent, frequently boisterous, and eloquent enough to talk my way through most situations. The bottom line was that I knew what I wanted in life. In fact, I had dreamed of it for as long as I can remember and my quest for most of my growing years was to fill in the gap between where I was at the time and the realization of my dreams. Although there were many factors squarely out of my control, I was determined to do what was in my power to conjure the change I wanted in my life.