For my long-time readers, I know I’ve been talking about getting around to this for some time now. It’s so beyond long overdue, yet in perfect time…since it’s my birthday today! I had been wanting to do a post on my younger self and where I come from in the hopes that you could get to know me better and also possibly be inspired in seeing that no matter where you come from – your dreams are WILDLY possible and attainable.
For my new friends to Vashtie.Com, I welcome you in learning the same. In the very least, you can all have some good giggles in my fashion faux-pas and awkward smiles.
Vashtie was Born & Raised on April 23rd in Albany, New York to Working Class Trinidadian Immigrant Parents. The Youngest of 3 and the first American born.
My parents come from super humble beginnings. By “humble” I mean they both grew up dirt poor and had little to no education beyond the American version of grade school. My dad didn’t know his parents, the story is unclear from everyone in the family that I speak to – but they either died in a car accident or from Tuberculosis. My pops was into cars and became a mechanic. My mom is the oldest of like 7 or 8 brothers and sisters and ended up meeting my dad and having my older brother and sister in Trinidad.
Young Mom Dukes and Dad in Trinidad.
Look at my cute and ashy family, Pre-Vashtie.
When my dad was interested in re-locating his family to America, he went to visit his younger brother (my Uncle) who had settled in the Bronx. The Bronx in the 80’s was not too desirable for my father and his family, so instead he went to visit a Trinidadian friend in Albany and figured it was the best place for a family. Later…the best thing to happen to all of them was born.
Am I right? Just look at this little gremlin, critter teeth and all.
5 of Us Lived in a Cramped 2 Bedroom Apartment in the Hood.
It’s no wonder I’m claustrophobic. Well, that and my brother and sister would wrap me tight in blankets like a burrito and shove me in tiny enclosed spaces. Anyways, my parents did the best they could with what they had and us 3 kids shared one room. I remember that apartment so fondly, it wasn’t so bad – but it was the hood and no matter how clean we were, we had to co-habitat with mice and roaches.
My sister and I, sleeping on the floor in our first apartment.
Just a stupid baby enjoying a lollipop.
Christmas time and me opening some creepy doll.
Oh. Another creepy doll.
Me, my brother, our little neighbor Kenny celebrating my sisters birthday in our kitchen/dining room while my mom washed dishes.
Fooling around with my big brother and lipstick on my mouth that my sister applied.
Me and Kenny at his apartment, watching the snow fall.
Eventually we moved into a 3 bedroom apartment which was a mansion compared to what we had before. My sister and I shared a bed, which probably sucked for her since she was 7 years older than me. But, we made the best of it.
Vashtie Starting Pre-School
I remember having my 5th birthday party at my pre-school and my Moms worked there in the office. I thought I was so cool because she came through to my party. They gave me this sick cake and took us to the pet store to get goldfish. It was lit.
Me and my Barbadian friend Sekou at my sisters 8th grade graduation.
…And me graduating pre-school.
Ready for the first day of kindergarten.
(TO BE CONTINUED…Junior High, High School & Art School are next!)