My great grandma always loved Milky Way bars. She also loved assuming everyone else liked them, too. I remember her taking them out of her freezer and giving them to me, saying “Here, eat this,” to which I would reply, “No Grandma, I don’t like Milky Ways.”
But that wasn’t the answer she was looking for. “You love Milky Way's, here!” Then, my great grandma would force the Milky Way into my hands and run away, leaving me trailing behind her, holding a basically concrete Milky Way bar.
My great grandma was always adamant about my whole family eating Milky Way bars - whether or not we actually liked them. But, if anyone tried to get my great grandma eat anything she didn’t like… Oh man. Let’s not talk about that.
But, let’s talk about my great grandma and I. Just like my great grandma and her Milky Way bars, I am pushy and assertive. I am ambitious and a leader. I am independent and can survive on my own, just as my great grandma did when she was living in a labor camp in Germany during World War II. After escaping from the camp with her child - my granddad, she fled to America and started a new life. Her story of perseverance and strength are the reasons why I love my heritage, family, and being Ukrainian. She is the reason for my independent attitude and the reason for my love of freedom.
Freedom is everywhere. Besides bald eagles and democracy, freedom also comes in the form of choices. A choice between bagels or cereal for breakfast, a dress or skirt to wear to work, a Democratic or Republican president. The freedom to choose is something that is a huge privilege that we have in this country, and is something that I don’t take for granted. By having this freedom and cherishing it, it means that I - more than anyone - understand letting people have their own opinions and making their own choices.
So I might choose to eat cereal for breakfast. I might choose to wear a dress instead of a skirt. I might even choose to wear flip flops in the middle of winter (honestly I would). The decision I make because of these choices controls the outcome.
So, I am choosing to leave the Milky Way behind and, instead, eating a Snickers. This I believe. Sorry, Grandma.