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Posts tagged inspiration.

My family never meant to get stuck in this terrible limbo. But, guess what happens when you mix 1 broken immigration system + 1 pompous piece of shit lawyer? The result is a family that is suddenly out of status. Jumping through all the hoops was not enough … one mistake was all it took to turn our world upside down.

We were stripped of not only our identity, but also of our humanity. I stepped into high school every day, thinking only of the day that was ahead of me, but never about the future. It was too painful to think about the future, or what it had in store for me. All I knew is that my future would not hold for me, the same thing it held for my friends. I did all they did, I took the same classes, the same tests, most of the time, I often scored better than my friends, but even then I knew that made no difference. I did not feel equal to them.  I need something to motivate me.  I needed something to keep me pushing for a better future, even when the outlook was bleak. I needed a reason to stay up and finish that damn report. I needed a reason to not get into drugs, even thought my parents probably would have hardly noticed, since they worked all of the time.  I needed a reason to have hope.

It’s funny how something so small can inspire you, if you let it. In one of the few days when my parents were not working, they took me to the High museum. It was so wonderful to be in such a beautiful place, away from the institutionalized walls of my school, away from the judgment.

At that exhibition I felt like the whole world was listening and breathing through me.

 I think the first time I read it, it was splattered huge across a wall high in the exhibition. It was a vinyl cut out of letters, stuck to the wall itself. “I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.” Maybe it’s silly, but it was exactly what I needed. From that moment forward, I clenched onto that phrase and never let it go. It became my mantra; I burned it into my brain. It fit me perfectly. “I know nothing with any certainty” Yep, that’s me. I had no idea what would happen to my life the day after graduation. I had no idea what would happen to my family. I had no idea what would happen to with my friends once they left for college and moved on. I had no idea what would happen to me.  That part, described all the loneliness I felt inside of me. “But, the sight of stars makes me dream.” This part of the phrase is what gave me hope. To me, it said, all of these amazing things are possible, and you can be a witness to them. There is so much goodness in the world, and you can let that goodness fill you. It’s okay to think about the future, even if you’re not sure how the HELL you’re going to get there.

A quote or a sentence like Van Gogh’s won’t fix your life.  It won’t  make your problems go away. But here’s what it did for me. It allowed me to wake up every morning  that what I did that day counted, even if I didn’t know for what. It helped me stay focused in my school work, because I realized that even if things didn’t work out like I thought they should, having good grades was important. It pushed me to achieve greater things, because I realized that not the whole world judged me on whether I had papers or not. And, that it was okay to sometimes forget. It made me realize that being a good person was so so important, not matter where you were trying to go in life. That learning to be kind was a skill that would be welcome anywhere.  That, there was nothing wrong with hoping and dreaming. It made me realize that I had no choice but to hold my chin up, and that dreaming was something they could never take away from me.

There are beautiful and nasty things in our world. Only let the good things reside in you, and let them empower you to move forward. Let yourself be inspired, know that you are not alone, and never ever ever ever stop dreaming.

<3,

PB