Disposing my thoughts one page at a time
An aquarium without a face
I've always hated aquariums. A pocket of the sea to be capitalized on, an aquatic assembly moving from one end of a tank to the other. It was the perfect example of what our world had come to: trading beauty for capitalism, the exchange of nature for profit. And you know this very well. So, explain to me why the only aquarium in the city stands right by your house. Until I had met you, I didn't even know it existed. But then again, before you, I didn't know about many things.
Cultural Appropriation and Racial Identity
Among many things, the concept of identity is soiled in history, culture and socio-economic power. As second-generation immigrants of the Western world, these aspects about ourselves begin to blur. Thrusted into a world of a different culture, history and hierarchy of power, it becomes the responsibility of society and the individual to sort themselves among these lines. But when our concepts of identity begin to blur, so do our notions of right and wrong-- specifically, our ideas of what constitute as appropriate facets of our identity. As a result, we become lost in a cycle of taking on the different cultures and identities we are exposed to, mindless of the consequences that stem from that process. Consequently, not only does one stray further away from their own cultural identity, but they manage to take on facets of cultures they have no right taking part in, perpetuating the prevalence of cultural appropriation.
Today feels like a nice day
I like the peace and calm that comes with taking care of myself. My work, my life, my body. My mind. Like a closet in need of desperate cleaning, or an old drawer filled to the brim with old and unused treasures. All in need of sorting, exchanging and rearranging. What brings me comfort is self-care, a focused and in-depth look at how I can be better. A calm approach to ease my mind and all its unnecessary banter. Self-talk. That never seemed more important until now. Have you ever listened to the way you speak to yourself? Instead of someone who has a long way to go, I’m someone who’s failed at everything so fast. Instead of focusing on the journey ahead, I look back in shame. My closet needs to be rearranged. My clothes beneath the bed have been collecting dust for far too long. The drawer, filled to the brim with old and unused treasures, is in need of emptying. I’m stepping over empty bottles of perfume and makeup I don’t use anymore. There was a story here, some time ago. About a girl who didn’t know where she was or what she wanted. Somebody who looked at the world through the lens of her heart, that painful, troubled thing. Someone who had more hope in the past, never seeing the possibility of moving forward. Letting go means leaving the world I’ve created. My old clothes hang from my chair and layer across my floors. I have no room left to walk, and nowhere left to go. Stuck inside the mess of my mind, sorting out the old and unused, whatever I thought would lead me to the truth. My curtains are barely hanging straight anymore, and the door is always closed. God forbid anyone sees the mess I sit in, day-in and day-out, a chaos of my own doing. I’m sorting through the layers of old and unused things I’ve carried along with me for far too long. Reminiscing about the short-lived comforts they brought and holding onto hope. Each thing whispers its own little tale about a happily-ever-after, and every other empty promise I’ve heard. The air in my room has aged with me. It has collected my dust and tears. Polluted the corners of my room, brought upon by things I can barely comprehend. I’ve stained every inch of this bedsheet, drenched in the shame that never sees the light of day. I sleep in it like a new-born, finding home in whatever’s still left of me. And here, in my mess, I’ve made a home. A cluttered, claustrophobic home. Where I’ve always been, so getting up doesn’t feel natural to me. It feels like abandonment. Yet, I’ve been abandoned so many times, it should come as nature to me.
The Journey From Columbia to Panama
Note: This article may contain sensitive images. The Darien Gap, also called the “smuggling corridor”, is a jungle that exists between Columbia and Panama. This area of ungoverned land is the most common route for human and drug trafficking. Home to Marxist guerilla groups and indigenous inhabitants, the ecological landfill is considered the most dangerous jungle in the world. It also happens to be the most common route that refugees take to reach North America.
I’ve never been big on conversations. The city was already so full of noise: the aggressive honks, dogs barking at the same time each morning, restaurant music blasting through every crack and corner. During the day, the streets were packed. Every inch was covered by feet or tires. From my window, I watched a million faces pass by unaware of the world around them.
The Loss of Identity
Recently, I visited a web page titled 26 Questions To Help You Know Yourself Better. I’ve always been averse to articles like this because there was no way that, at the end of these 26 questions, I’d know myself any better. They’re surface-level questions: What are your strengths? They come with surface level answers: I guess I’m not too bad at cooking. Because when you experience the loss of your identity, questioning who you are comes easy. Finding the real answers to those questions is what feels impossible.
My Mind An Artist, My body The Canvas
Growing up, I’d revel in all the mysterious ways to make myself beautiful. Straightening my hair, learning how to use eyeliner, plumping my lips, the best overnight cure for a pimple. What outfits were trendy? What made me look amazing? Anything! The world was my oyster when it came to beauty.
- Second Place in Hometown Heroes Challenge
A Hero Till The EndSecond Place in Hometown Heroes Challenge
To my hero, Like all good heroes, you were taken away from this world too soon. The residual effect of your charitable good deeds still linger in our hearts. For hours, people go on talking about you and your little quirks. Did you seriously prefer not to brush your teeth before your morning coffee? Firstly, gross. Secondly, as the daughter you raised to brush her teeth every morning before anything else, I realize how many things you omitted from your life to raise me correctly. You only ever shared the happy memories from your childhood. Thus, you taught me that the greatest power a parent could have is the power to create a better life for their children. Little did I know, you omitted to share over half of your life out of this desire to create something better. Those gaps of communication lost between us itch at me every day.