Stay True (short narrative)

By Jacky
Jacky, a recent graduate from UC Irvine with B.A. in Psychology & Social Behavior. Currently working at Latino Health Access, a non-profit for healthy communities in Orange County facing issues like diabetes and obesity.

Imagínate si me quedo allá?

A friend of mine said those words.  Unlike me, he had the privilege of cultivating memories, and lived a life in Mexico.  I dream of the day I shall smell a dewy morning of Mexico, to feel the wet soil between my toes, and see my unfamiliar home.  Every movement is romanticized, because we eagerly wish for something that is our cause.  And it’s hard to believe that I want to be American.  When our history has been so ethnocentric.  A double standard in my own words: when I say ours, I mean American history because that is all I know. American.

Two months is all I knew Mexico for. My very first two months of my existence.  I have this idea.  That I will eventually go back to Mexico, back to my birthplace, like a salmon does.  A life lived to the fullest, travelling from afar, creating a history, just to reach home.  Where is my home? I do not see myself living my entire life in Orange County, or California, let alone in the US.  I just can’t see it.  I can’t see my longevity, my happiness, my future growing among conformity and fear that is America to me.  Why do we carry on with legislations that seem to never want us? The world does not end within the American border. We do not need a social security number to be educated. Why can’t we all imagine a better life in another country? Why is it so hard to detach?

It’s hard to think of myself as an adult.  I do not see myself as one, I feel like I am stuck at age 15. Some sort of purgatory, in which no one takes you serious because you’re what society refers to an adult yet you don’t know how to drive, have your own place, no stable job, no health insurance. All these things that make you an adult are unattainable for me.  And it makes me sick how materialistic my sense of independence is.  It would be difficult to detach, and it frightens me to imagine not seeing my parents or my siblings after a ten year penalty. Ten years could be the end of my parents. Ten years could mean life to new family. Ten years could mean the definition to my life. Entrapment. Living in the shadows seems to be our only choice. Do you go insane when you “don’t do shit” or do you say “fuck it, my time will come”?

It’s hard to say. It’s hard to stay true to your essence when it is chained down and it is constantly faced with oppression and marginalization.

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