I am moved by your honesty and courage in writing this. I can only imagine the feelings of alienation, mental and emotional anguish, and what at times might have felt like crushing loneliness even in the midst of so many “friends.”
Multiple studies conducted by bigger brains than mine have shown that puberty is the most difficult time of anyone’s life. The body, the brain, and the psyche are all undergoing significant changes simultaneously.
The psyche is made up of the id, which is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the super-ego, which plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego, which is the organized, realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego. HEY! Check out the big brain on Lori! But I digress . . .
You went through all that without a community of peers, a community of like minded teens who shared ancestry, race, or at least respect for you as the unique individual you are. Yet through it all you’ve graduated from high school, you’re proud of your Filipino and Chamorro heritage, and you are in the midst of coming to terms with who you are.
“ But I grew up here. I cannot help that. This is who I am. I really have grown a lot since being glued to my computer screen in the sixth grade. So maybe I shouldn’t be sweating the things that girl said about being whitewashed. I dunno, you tell me. That’s my struggle at the moment.”
In The Apology, Plato quotes Socrates who said during his trial, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” (If you haven’t read it already, there’s a bit of light summer reading for you. LOL) In essence, Socrates was saying to the court that life lived by rote, under the authority or laws of others without questioning whether or not he or she wants to live within those constraints, is not a life worth living at all.
From what you have written, I can see you have examined and will continue to examine your life. As you do so, I know you will build on the inner strength your essay so eloquently displays. You’re right, you know. You are unique. A romantic, hetrosexual, Filipino, Chamorro, musician, with an American accent and a love for science fiction who has a gift for using self-deprecating humor and descriptive narrative to provide extraordinary insight into a very personal yet universal human dilemma.
I hope you continue to write about your experiences. Unique as you are, the fact is there are many of us out here who share elements of your story, who can find our courage in your example, and who may need to know we aren’t alone our struggles to free ourselves from the constraints others would use to bind us.
Pagpalain ka nawa ng Diyos.