You know how young little girls sometimes like to play dress up with a lot of different costumes? Things from their mom’s closet, maybe a little make-up from there too. Scarves, shawls, frilly shirts, fancy skirts, some red lipstick, and some blush—obviously getting applied to the wrong part of her face— everything. Mom’s closet is another world for her. I liked playing dress up too, but not that same way at all. I didn’t think of mom’s make-up or her clothes. I used to just get a long piece of fabric, and wrap it around me, as if it’s some sort of dress. Then I’d grab a rope or belt—or maybe a smaller piece of fabric—and tie it around my waist, with the “dress” starting to take form. I’d be incredibly proud of myself! But I wouldn’t stop there. I’d get my younger sister and I’d wrap her up with a “dress” too. She wouldn’t mind, after all, she was only two. My sister and I did so many things together— we understood each other more than best friends would. I really loved doing that, it was a great time. I’d make all sorts of costumes too, with the fabric we had. I would even dress my sister up as Joseph the Carpenter and myself as Saint Mary, when we would be nearing Christmas time. It was great to have a sister, after all, she’ll understand you more than any friends you could meet in your life.
It was my first day at school in America. I was really scared and I had no clue what to expect and everybody around had their circle of friends and cool backpacks and the talking came really easily to them. Yeah. I had trouble speaking well into the school year. My mouth would have so much trouble forming the words of a language completely unrelated to my own. People who haven’t tried speaking my language may not understand the difficulty of speaking another language and how it can actually hurt. They don’t know much better. But whenever I try to speak theirs’, I’m faced with difficulty speaking and fear of the culture I’m within.
That Red Shirt
I have a red shirt. I don’t really like wearing it. I don’t like its color or its texture, or how it’s super long like that. I usually avoid wearing it most of the time. But on a really cold day I had no other option but to wear it, as it’s one of the few cozy shirts I have. All day I’m embarrassed of it. Little did I know, I’d get a compliment on it soon. I continue about my day. After second period, I’m out at break with my friends. “Hey, I like your shirt! It’s so wintery,” “Oh yeah, and it looks so cozy! Nice,” my friends genuinely say. I thank them with a smile but in my head, I’m so confused. They like this shirt?! How?? They don’t even notice that it’s so ugly and long?! I thought to myself. Well, I got two compliments on my shirt the same day. It’s not a usual habit for me to get any compliments on my shirts. It must actually be a good shirt, I guess. Ever since, I’ve started wearing that shirt more often. After all, it is a cozy option to have open.
I remember thinking how I neither get treated as an adult nor as a child. In some categories I’m treated as a child. “No, you can’t have as much chocolate as you want.” “No, you’re not allowed to watch TV right now.” No, no, no. But I wasn’t going to eat more chocolate than what is good for me. I wouldn’t watch TV all night. I am capable of making my own decisions, but how come with these things I’m treated as a child. Other things, my parents expect more from me than I think I can do. “Can you please go inside and buy the milk? I’ll tell you exactly what to do. I’m very very tired and I can’t get out of the car to do it. Besides, you need the milk for your recipe, would you rather me go home?” and “Take out the trash and wash your dishes. You are old enough to help me do these things.” I don’t want to go shopping for groceries alone. I don’t want to take out the trash. How come with some things, I don’t get to make my own decisions, but with other things I suddenly become responsible enough to do them?
The Rest of the Team
In team activities outside school, where 6 different teams are competing with each other, we all get very competitive and we’re always trying to outsmart the other teams. It’s always really fun and involving. Everything becomes a race and competitive in a friendly way. In a treasure hunt activity, sometimes I decode the cipher and understand the clue before the rest of my teammates. Sometimes I go running to where I think the clue leads and if I find something, I have to run quickly back to my team to help them understand too. Sometimes I don’t understand the clue and it’s other people who figure it out and come back to help us. But we all need to work together and help each other out. Not one person will understand the clue by themselves. We all need to return to each other and help out those who cannot get as far as we do.