She often liked to remind me, that as a baby, right before she had to go to school one morning, I pooped on her uniform. It’s very much a metaphor for how she’d deal with my shit the rest of her life.
I bought a condo in the middle of a pandemic.
I didn’t think I’d be uttering those words in 2021, but somehow, three months into the new year, this is what’s happened.
Lately I’ve been reminded of the Japanese art of Kintsugi: putting broken pieces back together with gold. It’s a metaphor that reminds us to embrace the flaws and imperfections – that in those cracks you can find something new. But lately, as I think about it, it’s reassuring to think our hearts can do that, too.
From running to the ER from my apartment one morning where I couldn’t stop crying to the nurses on duty; to waking up at 2 am in the Dominican where I crawled into my parents’ hotel room so I could feel some comfort as I curled up against my mother; to crying many nights to whichever of my Facebook friends or cousins was online in the dead of night, I have faced my fair share of paralyzing fear. Some nights I wake up thinking I can’t breathe. And most nights I can’t help but ask: why now and why me?
Sometimes, by the time you turn 25, you’ll remember the strong smell of hand sanitizer, the texture of the surgical mask against your nose as you try so hard to fight back the tears and gasps.
“If you want to be a good writer, you have to know what the bottom looks like,” my godfather told me as he lifted his beer bottle to his lips. Rain was pounding down outside, the humidity disappearing with the strong blast of the A/C. I looked him in the eye and nodded, because after two weeks in the Philippines I knew exactly what he meant…