Inspired by @ShawnKelly and @joemurphy. Sorry it's so long. It was both cathartic and educational to list this all out.
  1. Because I'm the oldest child
  2. Because I grew up in a family with a very narrow definition of what "good" means
  3. Because my parents were young and ill-equipped to manage the frustrations of parenting in a peaceful way
  4. Because to this day no one in my family can say what they really feel or resolve conflicts in a healthy manner
  5. Because I remember what it's like to have the utilities turned off
  6. Because even when we were poor, family time, the library, and the great outdoors didn't cost a thing
  7. Because I've spent so much of my life trying not to be noticed
  8. Because my 4th grade teacher tried to cure me of my shyness by making me the center of attention all the time
  9. Because I was left to my own devices for a lot of my childhood
  10. Because in spite of their flaws, my parents gave us a really good life
  11. Because I lucked into the right group of friends at just the right time in my life
  12. Because I have had amazing role models and mentors in my professional life
  13. Because my parents' marriage problems still affect me emotionally even though I'm an adult
  14. Because I live mostly in my head
  15. Because change is scary
  16. Because I'm an optimist