Since the election of Donald Trump, I’ve gone in cycles of lows and highs, of feeling replenished and feeling depleted. Even before the election, life in New York was feeling sh*tty and I was constantly searching for ways to replenish myself in the midst of a lot of heaviness. Time and time again, I come to the conclusion that life is just a series of moments of overcoming obstacles, sprinkled with moments of pure joy.
I know this cyclical process of overcoming as resiliency.
When asked what I’m proud of as a Filipinx American, our resiliency is at the top of my list. My grandparents, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my cousins — all of us, we exude a resiliency that is difficult to put into words. We’ve learned how to survive and how to persevere. What’s most challenging about resiliency is learning how to grow. Because with growth, comes discomfort. Continue reading
As much as my parents like to deny it, I am who I am because of them. The home they created for the three of us were my initial grounds for socialization, the space that sparked my faith, spurred my love for music and the outdoors, and where I developed my conflict coping mechanisms.
I always aim to publish my weekly blog posts over the weekend or Monday at the latest — but as you may (or may not) have noticed, this week’s post is late. I planned to write about my parents’ immigration narratives — a feeble attempt to articulate the historical and personal factors that contributed to their decisions to forfeit the lives they knew in the Philippines, sprinkled with quotable remarks made when the stories were passed orally to me and painted over with a broad historical lens. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I witnessed a teenage couple verbally fighting on the subway. The girl looked like she was on the verge of tears as her boyfriend prodded her to open up about why she was upset. At one point, he threw out a taunting hypothetical, “If I was in a room alone with ___some other girl’s name___, would that bother you?”
“Well, would anything happen…?”
“I mean, we’re alone. So say something does. Would that bother you?”
As I listened to this conversation, I’m thinking (1) what an asshole (2) someone needs to tell this girl that she is worthy of better. I could feel the same hesitation emanating from her that I felt years ago when I attempted on multiple occasions to break up with an ex. My problem was that I feared I was not worthy of someone else.
At the next stop, the boy got off the subway. My heart raced as I pondered my place in this situation: say something or not? Subway conversations are rare especially in New York, where people (usually) avoid talking to each other. Eventually, it was the knowledge that if I was in her shoes, I would have been thankful for some validation from the universe. That, and I could feel the regret building within me if I stayed silent. So I turned around and said, “Hi, I overheard your conversation. I hope you know that you are enough on your own and you deserve better.”
There’s a combination of factors that contributed to this moment: my Catholic guilt, my Jesuit education’s call to social justice, my growing courage, and most of all: my identity as a womxnist. Continue reading
🎧 To the spaces in between our faces
The most beautiful places in the world
Don’t waste it, I could almost taste it
The most beautiful places in the world– Mint by KAMAU
I’ve been listening to this song non-stop this week. The hook has me hooked and thinking about space — the types of spaces I choose to inhabit, the types of spaces I stumble on and most of all how I take up space. Continue reading
I’ve spent half of my week sick in bed: chugging fluids, downing Vitamin C, closing my eyes while drowning out the world with music and Bob’s Burgers. My friend, Mary had gotten sick the day after the Womxn’s March but miraculously, I felt a hunnid. I thought I had managed to steer clear but turns out, the one day I didn’t wear my poncho scarf, is the one day the rain pours, the wind roars and germs are rampant.
But I do think there is more to me getting sick than that scientific explanation.
Last year, when I was a Jesuit Volunteer, the combination of being away from my home, friends and family, living with white folks whose unchecked entitlement made me feel inhuman, and working at a job where black and brown staff particularly womxn were taken advantage of at every turn – I got colds more frequently than normal. Despite my best efforts to self-care by journaling, making music, talking with friends, going to mass or just getting out of the house, the stress of my life would get to me and I would end up stuck in bed with a bad cold.
Now, it’s the combination of… Continue reading