When I think of my plans for the future, I always ask myself, “For whom am I doing this for?”
I could say it is for myself, for my family, or for the community–all of which are noble reasons in trying to accomplish set goals. But down to the core, I am thinking of someone specific.
I am doing this for “that lonely Filipino kid”.
The one who feels like they don’t belong anywhere.
The one that cannot seem to blend in with any crowd.
The one always in a corner, alone, watching the other kids play.
The one causing concern for adults at parties and gatherings.
The one whose parents tried to encourage to be more social.
There may have been other Filipino kids–many or fewer in count, but are nonetheless existent–but that lonely Filipino kid doesn’t feel totally connected to them.
Original painting, “Holly Golightly B&W,” circa 2010.
This is your first September as a non-student. It’s as weird as Harry Potter not returning to Hogwarts in The Deathly Hallows. The circumstances are different, but the reality is that you are now facing “the real world”. You have been guided through the necessary steps to be admitted into a higher institution and plan a course for your future. But you were not prepared for the emotions that come with these changes or how to deal with them.
You applied to several schools in Manhattan because you felt that it was your destiny to return to your place of birth. Throughout your life, you watched films set in New York City; read poetry by Frank O’Hara; idolized Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly more than her other roles; and dreamed of that apartment somewhere in Astoria (because Queens) or Harlem (because the Harlem Renaissance). You got accepted into four colleges in Manhattan, and all you had to do was choose one. Continue reading →