Thursday, January 15, 2015


“Who Am I? = I Am You!”

My name is Latia Del Riviero, and this book is about my life as best as I can describe it.
I was not sure if I needed to write a Preface, but I suppose it could do no harm. Let this serve as a warning
that there are many names mentioned in this book that you may not know or care to read about, but
you ought to.  Furthermore, this book is not a self-help book, but merely a wake-up call in hopes that
you will think about consequences and options before taking any action you may have in mind at any
given moment. I would like to stress the importance of accountability and paying attention to details.
The names are there because they are an integral part of making ME who I am today.
I’ve given credits to my idols as well as mentors. I have also included excerpts, which are important to
read if you really want to know me and how I related to others, it’s your choice.
This book is short by comparison to some, but they are all true stories that I am sure you will realize, 
if you  pay attention to how it relates to other parts of the stories here told.
The first day when I decided to write this book, many laughed at me and thought I was joking.
I never joke about what I want to do, and will do. It took me seven years to finish the book, as there
were many names and dates to remember. That is why the excerpts are important.
This book is dedicated to every person I have ever encountered and had the pleasure of connecting
with. I hope that this book will bring some enlightenment into your life. I hope my story will enable you
to help yourself, and others from experiencing any further pain and confusion that may come from
hurtful experiences. One can never do enough ‘Good’. We all need a Mentor... That Mentor is You!

Thank you for believing in me, and for taking your precious time to read my story. I hope you enjoy it.

                                                                " My early Awakening "

I would like to personally thank each one of you for taking an interest in my story, however, I must warn
you that what your eyes will read could be hazardous to your laziness! My story will surely make you
laugh, feel sad, angry, justified and highly motivated! I want you to take a few minutes out before you
read this.
OKAY ? So if you are ready, let me begin at the very beginning...

For as long as I can remember, my childhood years were filled with sadness and loneliness. I was born
physically frail, but even more frail emotionally. I was what you would call a ‘Mommy Clinger’ and a
‘Thumb-Sucker’. I needed to be picked up and held all the time. I was scared to be left alone, which
must have driven my Mom insane at the time. According to my mother, I got better as time went by,
and I was the type of kid that was easily pleased as long as I was busy with something creative. She saw
I had some talent, and hence, my Mom got me involved with a dance group. I joined a Tahitian and
Hawaiian Dance Team. I was a very shy and quiet kid that rarely spoke. I remember the first time I had
to perform in front of a live audience, I was about five years old, and I was terrified.
I was easily intimidated by the other kids who were so confident and exited to be onstage. I went
through with the performance, but forgot the moves, and the embarrassment that I felt is still in me
today, as if it just happened yesterday.
I was always obedient except for when I got pushed by an adult or another kid. I never reacted with
tantrums like other kids would. When I lost my temper, I was like an adult who spoke with spiteful
words and facts. I would throw the words like daggers at the one who might have abused me one too
many times.
I had a lot of anger at the young age of five. I kept it in check most of the time during my childhood
years because that’s what I was trained to do.

I will never forget the very first real party I attended. My Mom was working for this wealthy family who’s
kid was turning thirteen years old. The girl’s name was Sally. Sally hated me because to her, we were
just peasants that worked for her family. My Mom did a lot of work for her family, and her step-dad
really liked me. He saw that my Mom did not have much, and that I had the same old ugly doll when
ever he saw me. Being the nice man he was, he decided to give to my Mom by giving to me. He bought
me a new doll every time he traveled. Sally hated that. Therefore, in order to take the joy away from
me, she would make sure that I would become the laughing stock of all her friends during the party –
at my expense.
My Mother was a dress-maker/tailor, so Mom decided to make me a beautiful dress for Sally’s party.
It was a Chinese dress that involved having to sew a lot of buttons from the neck part of the dress to
the bottom of it. Mom was very busy that day, and she told me that she would quickly sew the
buttons on my dress after she finished preparing the food for the party. I saw her place my dress along
with the buttons on the counter. She made sure to wrap the bag of buttons, needle and thread into
the folded dress. Two hours go by, and it’s now time for my dress to get the buttons sewed on.
My Mom unfolded the dress, but my buttons were nowhere in sight. We looked everywhere, and my
Mom felt quite disturbed as to how they could have gone missing, but I was an easy going kid, so I
told my Mom that it was ok that the pretty buttons couldn’t be on my dress. I told her that she could
just use the safety pins, after all, what choice do poor people have ?
I knew my Mom felt bad about it, so I tried to be tough by pretending I was not disappointed.
My Mom really didn’t have much choice but to use the safety pins, so she pinned them from the inside
of the dress, and I was content with that. After all, I was not the birthday girl, but only the maid’s
daughter to be blunt. I was proud to wear the dress that my Mother made! Buttons or safety pins,
The dress was pretty and I was excited to show it off. I went out to the garden where the rich guests and their kids were. I stayed far enough away from them but close enough that I could watch the rest of the
kids play and admire their fancy clothes. I was quiet and shy and was minding my own business, when
Sally, the birthday girl, called the rest of the children to tell them about my ‘stupid dress’ and how poor
we were that we could not even afford we had to use safety pins ! The children laughed at
me and made fun of me, while pointing at me as though I was some clown in a circus.
I thought to myself, that’s funny...we asked Sally about the buttons, and she claimed she never saw
them, so how did she know what the buttons looked like?
I can remember that experience as if it happened ten minutes ago. I am crying as I type this out, because
the humiliation from all the kids laughing and saying hurtful words to me was my first great awakening
in life. I wanted to cry, but instead I held my head up high and went to the darkest corner where there
was a wall. I faced that wall and pretended I had a friend to talk to. You see, I did not know anything
about God.The only thing I knew was that we were poor and that no one liked or valued me except my
Mother. At the tender age of five-six years old, I made a promise to myself, that no one would ever
laugh at me or humiliate me again the way those kids did. I talked to the wall and told that wall that
when I grow up, I would be special and unique. I’m not sure which words I used, but it is what I meant in
my heart.
As for the rest of the party which lasted for hours, I stayed hidden...not because of shame, but
because I knew if I went out and the kids tried to make fun of me again, I would lose my temper, and
would retaliate. “NO!” I said to myself. “Time will be my friend, I will wait and I will show them later
when I grow up...I will show them all !.”
That experience was imprinted in my soul forever. At that early age, I made a decision that when I grow
up, I would always strive for success, and never judge anyone who did not have as much as I did.
I believed that I would accomplish much one day. Hard work and patience would surely get me there.
I looked forward to getting older and learning much about life. I was focused on conquering all of life’s
obstacles, even at that early age, I already knew the meaning of the word ‘BATTLE’.

 I however did not know how strong of a soldier I could become, but I knew I was brave enough to do my
best if I push myself. (Not bad for a shy little five-six year old kid.)
I was used to humiliation. My cousins teased me a lot, even the kids in school. I even got beat up a lot
because I would not fight back. I always kept a ‘Poker Face’, because I knew if I ever cried in front of
them, then they would always target me.
One little girl in grade two had the nerve to disrespect my Mom by saying that she was probably a
prostitute...that was the first time I let my temper fly ! I jumped out of my desk and beat on her!
The results of my actions were not so good. My Mom got called in and she was ashamed of my
actions. A double shame on me! I tried to explain my side of the story, but my Mom at the time was
angry that I could be so un-lady like. To her, I behaved in such a manner that she felt I was the one that
needed discipline. She made me stand in front of the whole classroom, and slapped my face. I could
not even cry, although I wanted to, because I knew my Mom was making a point more than just the
slap. I did not hold that against her, but it did take me a little while to understand it deep inside.
My Mom loved me more than life itself. She wanted me to learn a valuable lesson that even when
trying to defend another’s honor, I myself must hold my own honor  first.
She explained later that I must never lose control of my emotions in public, as there will always be
repercussions afterwards. I never forgot those words, and the first twenty-four hours after the 
incident seemed the longest. However, the following day came, then weeks, months, and finally
years...somehow the pain from the lesson I learned that day did subside.
I grew into a lovely sixteen year old, who had a driven nature.
Being driven is a start, but I was full of fear and confusion. Now I will be brutally honest with you, as
most people who know me would swear against what I’m about to tell you...
I am by nature very lazy and indecisive. Sure, we can use the age and the immaturity as an excuse, but
I will tell you now that I hate excuses and I don’t use them!! Better a true bad day than a fake good day... 

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