“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes
From the smell of fresh baked goods always circulating the house to the comfort of a warm bed, the idea of home sparks warmth and happiness, and I have been so lucky to consider my home in that way.
The white door that creeks and the roof that leaks is where I find home currently, but I have a vision of where I want to be or see myself once I have finished growing up.
Being a mix of all cultures, the Philippines in itself represents me. Living in a higaonon hut on one of the several islands, I would devour salty chicken adobo and lumpia.
Settling into my home, I would write in my journal about the culture that I experienced that day while looking out from my hut into the orange sunset reflecting off the ocean.
With beams of warm colors bouncing off the water, I would feel my late grandmother and her mother, wrapping their arms around me with their soft, delicate arms. Eventually, I will feel a sense of comfort and understanding of my surrounding culture.
Living the simple life and knowing my roots, I would sense closure and be able to flee to my new home in San Fransisco, California.
Even though I was not born there, my roots are in California and more specifically, San Francisco. Like my little Filipino grandmother, I would come from the Philippines and go to the Golden City.
My fate would bring me to the perfect two bedrooms and bathroom apartment on the seventh floor having an auburn red door. Decorated with poems written by my father, my apartment would have the smell of essential oils embedded into the walls, specifically lavender representing my mother’s spirituality.
This would be my sanctuary where tears would be shed, laughs would explode, and love would be felt.
The Mission district, where my brother was born, would give light to the art forward theme that I created in all the rooms but made sure that every area had its own distinctive flair.
Wanting to explore more about my culture and ancestors, I would travel to the plains of Africa. Settling down in Nairobi, Kenya, where the lifestyle is filled with the history of the Bantu people and the Swahili language, my home would be in a Kikuyu house with no rooms.
Compared to my other homes, I would be connected with the earth where elephants and antelopes have carried their children on their migratory voyage.
This home would give me insight to my African heritage before Europeans came into their territory, before slavery, and before segregation. Instead of learning about the hardships of my culture, I will learn about the rich tradition that the country brings.
I have always been a homebody. I find extreme comfort with the idea of my home and enjoy its atmosphere. I am excited to see where my future home may be.
The United States has a complex and deep rooted relationship with the rest of the world. We stood beside Europe on the march to victory in the first two world wars. But then the 60s and 70s yielded economic and political corruption centered in Latin America, casting us in a malicious light. Then the 1980s saw the fall of the Berlin wall/ Soviet Union, which the US had a large part in. We were the heroes – until the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, when we invaded places where there was no need to invade, while withdrawing from regions at crucial, inopportune points. Now, in October of 2019, we burned a bridge that had been forged with blood and brotherhood, united under a common desire for justice and peace. For decades, the Kurdish people, an ethnic group living between Syria and Turkey, helped the United States with intelligence, manpower, and resources. In turn, we drove radical insurgents from the surrounding area. But as of this week, the Kurds no longer see us as the ally we have always been. Despite strong warnings from various agencies and the pentagon, President Donald Trump ordered American troops out of a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria, which had for years stopped the Kurds from fighting with the Turks over land. By essentially opening the gate for the Turkish Army, the United States turned its back on the Kurdish people, which has resulted in a plethora of problems. Two issues that stand out greater than the rest are the fact that we betrayed a long standing and loyal ally, and that because of Turkey/Syria’s concentration on the impending conflict, large amounts of prisoners that belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have escaped from prisons that as of recent lack security. Many fear that an old and strong bridge has been destroyed, and that the future of the western Middle East may be drastically changed for the worst. The events that are to unfold are likely to be harrowing and unpredictable, so please read from reputable sources if you wish to learn more.
Kindness is a virtue, but some people use it as a weakness.
I try to be kind to people.
Sometimes I stay up late doing work for others so then they’ll be happy.
Sometimes I do things for people that will get me in trouble, but I do it anyway because they asked me to and I don’t want to say no.
Sometimes I don’t say what I feel when I really should because I want to focus on them. People like talking about themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, being and kind and helping people is something I love. But sometimes people abuse it; I don’t know how to say no. It leaves me broke, busy, and feeling used.
Hey can you drive me to Ventura? sure
Could you run to Von’s and grab me some chips? sure
I’m not allowed to have him in my room if it’s just us two, want to come over and hang with us? sure
Could you grab me some water? sure
Could I borrow your shirt? I “swear” I’ll give it back. sure
Hey could you send me the Physics? sure
I like helping people a lot. But there’s a balance. I can usually tell when I’m being used, when someone is kind to me because they want me to help them with their homework or give them rides places. But I usually let that slide; I like it when people are nice to me, it feels nice to think someone cares. But I’m starting to draw a line, if you are going to be mean to me, don’t expect me do your shit. I don’t like being used and most definitely not abused.
If you abuse me, no way you’re using me anymore.
Think before you yell at me and accuse me of things, because I have to draw the line somewhere, so have fun doing things for yourself.
After three months wandering around back home, we went back to campus for a brand new school year.
After more than one year recovering from the Thomas fire, we finally had an all-school camping trip in the first week.
After the protracted and exhausting travel from the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the busy packing unpacking and packing back, putting everything in order, meeting new people, I got so tired but still tried to make myself look energetic.
An opportunity came up, a chance I could escape from all of this.
Then I was on the bus with my day pack which had my lunch sandwich in it sitting beside me, my huge camping bag with a sleeping pad, bag, clothes and almost everything I need sitting under me in the luggage hold.
3 days without my phone, what a challenge. My phone became a part of me, like an external organ, it stayed with me every single moment during the summertime.
“I will be fine,” I kept telling myself before we departed.
But as it turned out, I was really more than fine without it. I really enjoyed the time spent with my friends. We played card games, went to the tide pools, played volleyball on the beach, watched the sunset, ate s’ mores, brushed our teeth in the dark and so on.
These days, with no phone, feeling isolated from the rest of the world, but closer to what is really around me.
I know the saying: “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t come back, it was never meant to be.” It’s true for some people and perfect for them, but it’s shit. Why should I have to set you free to know that you’re the right one?
I love you and I don’t want to set you free to know that. When I look at you, I don’t doubt anything about us, so why should I let you go?
At the same time, I don’t want to hold you back. I know it’s four years and that’s too long to stay in a long distance relationship, but I want to be selfish and keep you.
There is a big chance that you will come back, but how do I know that is going to happen? Four years is a long time, we both could meet new people or become new people.
Part of me wants to ignore every guy I meet in college to make sure I am single when you move to Tennessee, but what if you meet someone that makes you happier than I ever could?
The other part of me wants to move on and date many guys so I am not the one stuck in the past hopelessly in love with someone who found somebody else, but I know that I won’t be able to do that.
I love you so much and I don’t want to hold you back. I wish that this relationship didn’t hold you back, but I guess if it does I will let you go.