Becoming Self Aware
My childhood best friend’s name is Ciel. Being a young girl, I would often have playdates at her house. For the most part, I was bare free and had no thoughts of comparing the two of us, but I did notice the differences between our houses whenever I would be at hers. Where my brown hardwood floors laid, hers were white and polished. Each empty space in her house– there was a lot due to the extra space of a mansion– there would be an expensive statue to fill the void. There was never anything wrong with my house, but it was from that early age that I began to notice that our lives were very different.
Growing up I had no realization that there was a difference between races of the kids that I went to school with. All I can remember is trying to make new friends without processing what they looked like. By the end of 5th grade, I had a lot of friends but I kept a few of them close to me. At this age I began realizing that there were a lot of differences between what we looked like but I didn’t see a problem with it at all. Like the author described Rachel and Lucy’s lips in this chapter, I started to become aware of my “popsicle lips” and didn’t like how they appeared different from my blonde friends. To make things worse, I had no siblings to look up to or talk to about it, so I had a lot of time to myself. I did have fun and enjoy spending time with my friends though. We would run around the grass and ride bikes without worrying about social media because I wasn’t even allowed to have a phone. I was best friends with my neighbor, Conner, similar to Esperanza. I had so much fun playing with him up until he moved away. We used to play baseball and hang out every single day and my life seemed so colorful in these times. When we would enter something as simple as a convenience store, our minds would make up some crazy story to distract us from how boring it really was. We would make toilet paper castles and pretend that we were Royalty until the workers would kick us out of the store. I really do miss having such a fun life without worrying about school or what is going on with my friends.
Codependency. Noun. Excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.
Feeling like you completely rely on another person and being aware that it is unhealthy is so painful for someone to endure. Every little decision you make in your life requires their opinion on the matter. If they say no, the answer is no. If they say yes, the answer will always be yes. In my experience, I have relied on someone to the point where I felt like I would just crumble into a million pieces if they ever decided to leave me. Every organ in my body continued to pump blood for the sole reason of being with this person. The only way to break this habit is to lose contact and finally live your life as a singular human being. Since we have stopped talking, I feel like my life is more colorful and I notice more people around me. The boy that sits across from me in class? I never paid any attention to his existence, but now that I’m not looking at the world from someone else’s eyes, I can see him. He’s friendly! He has a pretty smile and seems really intelligent. The girl next to me at lunch? Her style is amazing and I love each little ringed curl in her pinned up hair. It seems like such a hard choice, but letting go of toxic behavior benefits everyone in the long run.
The Less Fortunate
When Esperanza talks to the sisters, they tell her to make a wish that will come true. Although they say she can get anything she wants, she has to come back for those who can’t escape Mango Street. It isn’t her responsibility, but the right thing to do would be to go back for her friends and family that aren’t able to improve on their own. SImilar to this, my grandmother lived in the Philippines for her whole life. She had five children with my grandfather and decided that she needed to escape to a nicer place, California. She began working day to day just to make enough money to send each of her young kids to America. One by one, the oldest of the group being 10, she paid for flights and they stayed with a distant relative. After 3 years, she was finally able to afford to leave the Philippines herself. Even though my grandfather did not want to leave, she decided to go without him to take care of her kids in a lifestyle that she could’ve only imagined for herself. Since then, each of her kids grew up to be strong and successful. My grandmother passed away around 6 years ago but she left a large impact on the whole family.
In the chapter “Darius and the Clouds,” I really liked the part where the author chose to include getting “drunk off sky.” This is a feeling I’ve always had and I execute in many different ways. Based on movies, when a sad event happens like a breakup, the characters always drink away their feelings. The alcohol drains away the sadness and gives them a night of numbness. Whenever I’m sad, I like to sit outside and look at the night sky to take away my pain. When looking at the stars, it reminds me that there are an infinite number of galaxies out in the universe. Is it really worth it to be upset over one tiny person? No one should be upset over things you can’t control. Seeing all of the bright lights reminds me that everything is going to be okay in the end. Feelings are temporary.