ReInventing Joana – The most VIP trip ever.

I was walking around in on of those high end boutique streets in Soho and a few steps in front of me, a lady with a trend coat, talking with someone on her phone.

It was a loud conversation, and for what I understood, she was mad with an employee of her company, like the girl did something absurd and she, the boss, wasn’t going to tolerate such mistake.

I walked a few steps behind her and notice that her New Yorker attitude was saying a lot about how we present ourselves to others. Maybe thats why the fraudulent Anna Delvey got so far with her scheme in the city. They love everything that shines.

Fake till you make it.

It doesn’t matter where you come from, in the big city, especially a city like New York, you have to stand taller than others. We’ve seen so many movies about a girl who was treated like trash, changed her attitude and her looks and grab the society by the hair.

One of my favorite movies “The Devil Wears Prada” talks about this city dynamic. I’m convinced that behaving like that  actually works here in America. Unapologetic.

I forgot to use my Anna Delvey Accent. It was not VIP, Vivian.

Whenever I travel, I like to walk around in different streets, to make me feel like I’m a local, like I actually belong to the place I’m visiting. I’m not against visiting touristic spots, like libraries, museums and historic sites, but I’m not dedicating my precious time to see what I can see in any youtube channel, for an entire day.

Especially because I don’t have much time when I travel, so I have to be smart with my choices. When I go to DisneyWorld, I know I will spend half of my day in a line, for a five minute ride, but when I go to New York, I have to be precise which neighborhood I want to visit, instead of waiting at a line to see the Statue of Liberty and waste my entire day.

Feeling like I truly belong, at the train station, I was looking around to figure out which letter train I would take to West Village, when a girl in need of information approached me.

She asked me if that train was going to a certain place. I baffled and try to tell her, I didn’t know either, but yeah sure, the train was going to that place. The poor girl is probably still lost in the city. I turned around and asked the lady working at the train station, who gave me the same answer I gave the girl “Yeah, sure, it goes there”.

Wants to feel like a true New Yorker? Give people misinformation about the subway system. It’s too complicated even for locals to understand.

People from the hotel, in other hand, were all very nice to me. Maybe because I work for the same company, or maybe because they were highly trained to be nice. I stayed at The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel and got upgraded for a suite.

The hotel was a truly VIP experience *read it in Anna’s voice* .
 Inside  The Beekman- A Thompson Hotel

The hotel is located in Lower Manhattan, close to World Trade Center memorial site and the Brooklyn Bridge is a walking distance. Staying at the hotel feels like you were transported to a 1920’s site, in the prohibition era. The restaurant looks like a Speakeasy and the vintage decoration gives you the feeling os travel in time.

The room had dim lights  and every time I left the room and came back, I had turned down service. When I came back at night, I noticed my curtains were closed. The bed was made, some water bottles were left by bedside table, with a room service menu on the top of the pillow, in case I wanted to order something for breakfast. I made some videos and I should post it soon.

I was really considering staying at the hotel and resting, instead of walking 12 hours a day. But I choose the second option. Getting lost in the city it’s my kind of trip. 

Friends Apartment Building – Manhattan

Next day, after breakfast in the hotel, I was ready to tackle the city. I wanted to visit the Friends Apartment building, so I took the train, got out in the wrong station and walked. And walked some more. The Goggle maps confusing me and my sense of direction, so it took me a little longer to find it, but I did.

The building is very crammed inside of a neighborhood, with a few cute restaurants and other apartments. From there, I walked to Soho, to visit some stores and see the lady yelling at the phone about her employee.

 

A very walkable city

In terms of food, I didn’t want to spend much. Once again, I look for local shops and not Tourist Trap restaurants. When I arrived on Monday, I walked to Chinatown to meet my friend and had some Dim Sum,  we shared and it was ideal to not spend much.

The next day, I had breakfast the hotel, it was about 25 dollars and if you are not starving, you can always share some items, if you traveling with someone. Josh didn’t go with me, because he had to work and I was only going for 2.5 days.

Find cute local shops and not Tourist Traps.

During my walk in Soho, later on, I stopped to eat a sandwich and a smoothie, in a very small and cute cafe. Joe and the Juice is a perfect spot for a quick bite.   https://www.joejuice.com/  Prices are reasonable and you don’t feel like breaking the bank. Again, don’t fall for tourist traps restaurants.

Moving on to Times Square, this time by train, I was amused by how busy that place is. I went to the Disney Store, M&M’s and kept walking to Bryant Park and Fifth Avenue. Later on, I went to K-town to eat at a Korean Food Court, that my friend who is a local in New York City, knows about.

Again, I had a Korean seafood soup for dinner and a soda that it costed about 13 dollars. Next day, the day I was coming back home I walked to Eataly, close to the hotel and got some pizza slice with a soda before traveling, also pretty cheap.

“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere”

New York is an expensive city, if you want to do expensive stuff. Things aimed to tourists are really overpriced and it makes it look like you have to be rich to be in a place like that. Yes, I got the hotel for a cheaper price, but even when I didn’t, 15 years ago, I stayed in a hostel sharing the room with 12 other girls and ate the same way I did on this trip. It’s about connecting with the local culture.

Apart from eating cheap food, I wanted to walk around high brand stores, see how people behave on a daily basis and have some fun. It’s easy to understand why to succeed in this city, you have to be a bit rough and put on a show. It’s the vibe of the city. Play pretend. Act like you belong among them and you will see how it work.

We are coming back to the city in May and I’m taking Josh this time. I can’t wait to show him around and show him the city dynamic, while getting mad at the train.

 

 

 

The winds are shifting and that’s ok!

How and why will I be focusing on travel content instead of writing fiction? –

800 words.

My love for writing fictional content is still here, and it will still happen, but as for right now, I will try something that was there before. Something that has been in my mind for the past 15 years. Creating traveling content to move forward to fiction in the long run.

February was a busy month.

I’m trying to keep up with the blog posts, while also managing to work full time and survive the cold Colorado winter. This year has been a hard hit for us. We have snow every week and frigid temperatures that make us not want to leave the house. Not leaving the house makes me not want to write anything. I need to find a coffee shop to get less distracted.

Two weeks ago, even in sub temp cold weather, we decided to drive to a ski area and have lunch there. We needed to check the ski resorts area and why not do that online when you can drive two hours just to have lunch and make a few videos of it?

The GoPro can work some miracles.

Photo by Jamie Fenn on Unsplash

I got a Gopro 9 for my birthday last October and that was the first time I used to film some content with it. Let me tell you, a GoPro makes an entire difference in video quality.

For someone who is a newbie like me, the Action Camera actually can work miracles. By the way, my next blog post will be about filming/editing gadgets for newbies.

One of the Youtube content creators I follow and make some awesome videos was talking about the gadgets he uses, as he has been working with photography for the past 15 years. That immediately took me back to the time I fell in love with Photography in 2004 and how different my life would be now.

What if I had followed what I wanted to work with? Would I be successful? Would I have a youtube channel talking about photography and videography? Would I be a pro at this point? It’s all in hindsight.

Life tripped me many times. I love writing fiction but I’m too insecure to write it. I’m very self-conscious and dramatic, and feeling like an outsider in this country doesn’t help me with my confidence. In my mind, I will wake up someday and write 300 pages and get published. My book will be chosen to be adapted to Netflix, Anna Delvey style.

The insecurity that comes from within.

Many times I ponder what is making me insecure? Why would I move mountains to live in the United States when I was younger and now that I’m here, I feel trapped?

When I was in Rio last year, my hometown, I felt like a winner. I could conquer the world, and as soon as I got back to America, my confidence was flushed and I was put back into my immigrant cave.

How does a person get out of this hamster wheel and get something done? That’s the reason why this blog exists, to share how I’m navigating life, as an immigrant trying to be happy, and getting things done.

Don’t be afraid to shift with the winds

By getting things done I mean, living my life to the fullest, while I do what makes me happy. I know what makes me truly happy. Traveling/Writing. That’s why I’m going to start filming some traveling content and posting it on social media. We will see what happens from that.

Don’t be afraid to shift the winds and adapt to whatever you are leaning to. Life is constantly changing and we are constantly evolving. I’m constantly in a spiral and I learn how to deal with my Brain giving me new ideas every day. I’m just happy I’m alive to try new things and make new plans.

Adapt.

This is not Toxic Positivity – It’s the positivity I have left to share.

I grew up with my mom saying “If you are not happy here, move.” We moved plenty of times and I had to adapt to different places and make new friends. So by my mom’s advice, if you are not happy, move. There is always a new day to try.

Change.

If what you are trying is not working, change the way you sail, or change where you are sailing. A couple of times in different pieces, I read that “You are not successful because you don’t stick with anything long enough.”

But what they never tell you is How long do you have to persist, before you start making some changes? It’s all so biased.

The video is a intro to the youtube channel I’m creating. I got some footage on Envato and the music I worked on Garage Band.

Like I said the word for this month is adapt. I’m going to New York for the first time in 15 years in two weeks. In summer we are going to hit the mountains with the trailer and create some content.

Let’s keep trying.

What makes you feel alive?

Coming out of the situation we were all put in last year, a few of these habits had the power to make me feel alive. Especially on those days, you had nothing to look for or any idea how long this situation would last for.

How long are we going to be in lockdown? How long are we only going to visit the supermarket and drugstore for fun? Thoughts like “will my life become entirely digital, without any other human contact, smile, or even facial recognition because we are all be wearing masks for the rest of our lives?”

There were so many questions I couldn’t find the answer at that time, and the only way out was to find things that made me feel alive. Felling alive and blessed for having a healthy strong system, enough to keep me safe during the pandemic, while a lot of people struggle, was a plus.

That led me to think and evaluate the true thing that keeps me alive and happy. Whatever brings a smile to my face or a giggle while walking around.

What makes you feel alive? Here are a few things that make me dance around.

The bright sun in the sky

At this point in my life in the United States, I’m somehow used to long winters. I lived in Chicago two different times and I know how dragging arctic winters can mess up with your mood, leading to seasonal depression.

I’m so thankful I was in Texas when the pandemic started because just imagining being cooped up in a tiny apartment for months, drops my mood to the ground.

I grew up in Brazil and we have the sun almost all year round, so when I had to deal with drag, short days, getting dark at 4 PM, that was it for me. Living in Colorado is also cold, but they have a lot of sunny days here, and that helps me to smile more. I love opening my window and see the light shining bright, it pushes me forward to keep moving.

Everyone looks happier when the spring and the summer start.

Dogs

Dogs are my kryptonite. I love dogs and I just want to be around them. I had two dogs before of my own, one we adopted and another one we foster at the beginning of quarantine. There is no greater love than the love of a dog, they want nothing in exchange, they just want love and treats, and that I have an abundance of. My parents adopted a stray dog, while I was visiting them in Brazil, last March.

Baby Kiara, the stray dog who won my heart <3

Baby Kiara is about three months old and she was found at the veterinarian clinic by the vet. She is the most adorable thing, but she is in trouble, because she looks like a little rat, running around the house, and sometimes we trip on her. She also bit the walls, everyone’s feet and she barks at an empty bottle filled with rice grains my mom gave to her. This time was especially hard to come back home because I got used to her. I hope she remembers me when I go back next year.

Walking around without a destination.

Usually, I put on my favorite playlist, something from the late ’90s or early 2000s, like Nsync or Britney Spears, and march away. Sometimes I walked so far, I had to take the bus back. That used to happen in Chicago a lot.

I used to live in Lakeview East, close to the Wrigley Field Stadium. Summertime comes around and I walked to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Had to take the bus back. On one of these random walks, I was listening to Beyonce and almost got hit by a car, because I was distracted and didn’t pay attention while crossing the street.

Listen to my favorite song.

Having a very peculiar taste in music, so depends on the day, I can go from Katy Perry to David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac in an instant. I traveled through decades and my playlist is adaptable. If I want to be happy in an instant, I will listen to Mariah Carey. I recently bought a karaoke mic and I’m driving my neighbors up a wall while singing “Emotions”. At least they stopped stomping in my head at 6 AM.

Food ( either cooking or eating it)

I get hanger. I don’t know how to deal with the feeling of being hungry. It puts me on a spiral of emotions and drama, I overreact to simple things, and have I mentioned drama? I love food. That’s a given and I also love cooking. I’m constantly checking for recipes and trying new ways to improve my meals. We don’t allow mac’n’cheese or frozen lasagna in this house. The joy of serving other people also makes me feel alive. For me, the act of cooking for someone else shows great compassion and caring for others. Food is energy and if you have good energy, it should be shared.

Observe the nature around me

Great things happen when you are not being distracted by your phone. A walk in the park can be refreshing and you can observe different scenarios every time you are out. Living in Colorado, I can see the front range mountains and it looks like a painting on the wall. Hiking gives you another sense of adventure and you can listen to nature and relaxing with the quietness, even though most of the time Mariah is singing her jams rent-free in my head.

Visiting my family in Brazil.

That’s the one thing that brings me the most peace and keeps me centered. Living in the United States, makes me feel I’m losing my identity, little by little. I know who I’m, but my life fluctuates between two different cultures.

My past and my present collide, sometimes I question my choices. When I’m in Brazil, I have all the love from my family, my food, my music, my tv shows. When I’m in America I have financial stability, some sense of security, and all the makeup Mac can make, that back home would cost me an eye and a leg. Life choices, am I right?

That’s how I see myself living in America.

I don’t regret living here, but I would like to go back to visit more often. My parents are getting old and I haven’t been there enough. Do you know that “missing hug people” you felt the entire last year? I have been in this situation for years

Find whatever makes you happy.

I read once that happiness is a feeling and not a constant state. That made a lot of difference in how I pursue things in my life. Gratitude and the simple things I can achieve helps me to move forward in life, without being so hard on myself.

That’s my list of what makes me feel alive. What’s on your list? Dogs, cats? Ice cream, traveling? Let me know in the comments!

XXX

J.Snelly

Travelling abroad during Covid.

I’m finally back and ready to take the wheel with the blog again. It was a great break, but now it’s time to put in perspective all the new projects I had blocked in my mind because of missing my family.

The last time I went home was December of 2018, and I left with a promise of coming back soon. Or at least having my parents visit me, in case I was not able to take time out to go see them. When Covid started in 2020, we were still hopeful they could come to see us, at some point, until the borders were close, with no intent to open anytime soon.

Mama, I’m coming home.

My mom also had the PCR test done before my arrival.

Not being able to go home last year and hug my parents was a struggle. I was hoping we could switch presidents here in America, so I could travel with peace of mind I would be able to come back to the country without any issue. Brazil is in such a chaotic situation, that if we kept Trump, I might have to stay there, as I’m a resident, and not a citizen of the United States yet.

I promise myself, as soon as the elections were over and he would finally be out of the office, I would buy my tickets to go home. I waited a few days after he left the White House, because of crazy conspiracy theorists, so I could purchase my tickets and that’s exactly what I did. On January 28, I finally purchased my tickets to go home.

All the preparation and anxiety, days without sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night, led me to a state of alert as my eyes were on the news, in case something else changed for the trip.

The PCR Test.

Brasil only lets citizens and Americans in if they have a negative covid test in their hands. My husband and I set up a drive-thru appointment at Walgreens, to do the PCR test before our trip, it costs us about 120 dollars each.

The drive-thru of Walgreens works like the Mcdonalds, but instead of getting food, they give you a swab so you can stick it on your nose. The results come out a little over 24 hours, as the lab works non-stop. I was very nervous because the trip was on Monday, and they told us the results could take up to five business days. We called and the lab told us to be calm, the results would come up fast.

The airport.

Denver doesn’t have direct flights to Brazil, so we bought the domestic leg separated, from United airlines. It’s funny because they are all careful to separate the boarding by rows and yet, you are on a packed plane and being asked if you would like to fly on a different flight.

The flight was crammed with people. The crew served us some snacks on a bag and soft drinks. Besides eating, we were supposed to keep the mask on all the time.

We got in Fort-Lauderlade from Denver to our international flight, to check in our bags and prepare to fly out. At the check-in line, there was an airline worker, making sure we all had a negative covid test in our hands. When we got to the counter, the lady asked for it again and stamped our tickets confirming we were negative.

I asked her if I could put the paper away or if I would have to show it again. She said they would not ask for it in Brasil and explain that it was the airline’s responsibility to check its passengers to make sure everyone was negative before flying. I kept the paper close to my hands anyway.

The flight.

I found out if you seat by the window, the plane will shake less. Booked all the flights with window seats.

As everyone on the plane tested negative, it gave us a little bit more peace of mind for the many hours trapped breathing the same air as other people. The airline crew reinforced that even though everyone was negative, we should keep our masks on, only removing to eat and drink. I’m not gonna lie, it was terrible trying to sleep with the mask on.

Planes are already uncomfortable, I’m an extremely nervous flyer. I’m always on alert even when the entire plane is asleep. I either take some Dramamine or wine. I need something to pass me out and on this trip, my drug of choice was Dramamine. After eating and the cabin lights were turned off, I took my scarf, covered my face, and held the mask in my hand.

The arrival.

When we arrived in the country, it took us a good hour to get out of the plane, as now they are only letting people out, row by row. Let me tell you that people are slow as they can be when it comes to getting out of a plane.

I had my PCR test in my hand, but no one asked me to show it. The Homeland security officer advised my husband that if something happened, like borders closing, he could easily renew his visa stamp for another 3 months. I wish we could stay that long!

The airport in Sao Paulo constantly reminds us over the speakers of the importance of wearing a mask, cleaning our hands, and keeping a distance from others. That’s not what I saw.

Brazil is a huge country and it’s nearly impossible to control the people, as they have a hard time following the rules. Some of them, because they can’t, and some of them because they are stubborn.

People need to work and they don’t have any government subside money to live off. I’ve seen buses crowded with people, with no AC, in 90F degree weather, and that’s Corona paradise. When we left the country was going on lockdown again.

Josh loves Brazil and always has a great time visiting. He loves the food, the people, and how cheap it is for us when we arrive in the country with some dollars. We eat what we want, drink and enjoy the warm weather. My mom is constantly asking why the man is blistering in the heat of the room when he could just be outside with a fan. Whats its torture for us locals, its a blessing to my Indiana guy.

The way back.

Once again, we had to take a PCR test for the trip back. I think it’s fair, as you don’t want to contaminate the airline crew and other passengers, it gives everyone peace of mind. It costs us half of what it costs us in America, expensive for Brazilians, but 1 dollar is worth about 5.70 reais. Let me explain this better. It works like this: If something would cost me 57.00 Reais, I would be paying 10 dollars, plus a small amount of transaction fee.

We had to set up the drive-thru appointment, at the lab stand outside the mall, and wait in line. When it was our turn, the lady was all prepared to perform the test on us, which scared Josh. On this trip to Brazil and another reason why we traveled since the American health system is inexistent.

We went to the doctor and found out Josh has an autoimmune disease, called Nasal polyposis, which is a small benign tumor inside his nose, that can be controlled with antibiotics and medication.

The polyposis obstructs his nose, impeding the PCR Swab to go all the way up. The lady stuck up the swab to my brain, with him, she attempted, but he hurt so bad, she had to stop halfway before he slapped the swab away from her hands. Get the vaccine when it’s available to you, so you don’t have to go thru this invasive procedure.

This time we were requested to show the negative PCR at least three times before boarding our final flight. Once at the Airline check-in point, at the check-in to the international flight in Sao Paulo, and lastly, the Homeland security. Nobody asked us for it inside of the United States.

Traveling with the Covid restrictions was hard, but all worth it.

Seeing my family, spend time with loved ones, and getting josh the treatment he needs was all worth it. We didn’t visit places, didn’t go to any parties, all we did was staying with my family because I still need to protect my parents. After all, they are in the risk group.

I didn’t cry saying goodbye, but I cry my eyes out when the plane took off.

It was hard to say good-bye. It getting harder and harder, as when I go there, I see my parents and I’m not around to be with them. I just have to put on my big girl pants and plan the next trip, hopefully, next January, after the holidays. Since we have to go back to pick up Josh’s medication.

All I have to say is if you want to go home, go home. Life is too short to plan too much, wait for the next opportunity, or to the perfect time to do what you want. Take your chance and jump in, life is a short breath of air. Don’t waste it. Don’t forget to Live out Loud Too!

On the next post, I will write about how going back home re-centers my mind and focus.

J.G.Snelly

XX

I’m not hiding my accent or who I’m anymore. Here is why

I’m not hiding my accent or who I’m anymore. Here is why :

When I arrived in America, my nationality was stamped on my forehead. I had a heavy accent, my voice was loud, and I laughed even when the joke was about me and my culture. A few years passed and I started to understand all those jokes were about how I sounded my quirky behavior, and all the judgment coming from my new American friends.

The last picture in Brazil, before moving to the US of A in 2012.

While I wanted to blend in, I was cutting the tree branches, one by one, until I felt like I had no identity anymore. That behavioral change hit its peak when I lived in Georgia.

Georgia on my mind

Working in a restaurant, as a server, with an entire Southern American crew, the boss, the supervisor, and the other servers, I felt compelled to muffle my feelings and choke on sentimentalism. Get up, put on a happy face, work 14 hours a day, while being homesick and broken inside. You have no right to complain. You are a second-class citizen.

I listened to diminishing jokes about my culture, which some of those people thought it was funny to make fun of, second-guessing my abilities to work like the others, leaving me to be the last one to be a trainer. Only because of the place I came from and the way I sounded.

Never arrived late at work, never called in sick, and it was on the team since the first week they opened. Being oversee by management, bothered me because I knew I was working hard, crying on the way back home. Exhausted, because I knew I needed to be better than everyone else, even when I was not being watched by anyone.You can’t relax like you peers. I was still a second-class citizen.

The hard path to belong.

One day, I was so irritated by that situation, I started to look on Youtube, how Hollywood actresses changed that accent for different roles in movies. I found exercises you could do, to minimize, and make your speech clear. My husband got mad at me, saying he loved my accent, while I told him,” I need the job, we need that job. I can’t be fired because they think I have language barrier by the way I sound.”

I couldn’t quit, because for the entire year I worked there, I was still working towards my permanent residency. And he was still at Chiropractic school.

Many of the problems I encounter here in America, is because of the lack of confidence I have ingrained in me because, for the longest time, I had been quiet just to get by. Every time I look for a job that’s not restaurant-related I think “why would they hire me, instead of a born and raised American?” So I freeze and don’t complete the application. That’s where I find myself these days.

My Production Company is going great. In my mind. Not in real life.

There is nothing in this country that encourages people like me, to step up and find their way. I’m always held back by some stupid insecurity that shouldn’t exist, that it was caused by the system. Since the dawn of time, if you are different, you don’t feel like belong here.

I’m working towards having my own production company, which right at this moment is very successful in my brain, but completely paralyzed by fear in real life. I wish I could blame the Pandemic, maybe I can partially. Being a multi-hyphenated person, I did more than just write. I also draw, photograph, make videos and learn about websites, among other things to fill up my days. Instead of focusing on only one thing.

Why would someone have to change their names to fit in?

A segment on the news just showed a lady who had to adapt her name, to succeed in Corporate America. Once again, if you are different from what’s expected, you have to suffer, to adapt to a certain way people will accept you.

It happens to all of us that fit in the box. It’s frustrating to live in a society that makes us all sound the same, dress the same and look the same. The lady from the segment decided she was going to use her full name, instead of adaptation, and she looked happy. How can you tell someone to change who they are, to fit in? That’s pure evil.

People are easy to judge and label you. Either by where you came from, the way you behave, or your name. I had to lower my voice, because “it’s too Brazilian” and we are loud. I stand too close to people in the line, and we talk touching people. Americans hate that. I learned about it at the first restaurant I worked in in Chicago. Every time I talked to them, if I move my hand to touch their shoulder, they would flinch. Sometimes, I did it on purpose, their reaction always made me giggle.

Unapologetically Brazilian

Practically having to be reborn as a new person, learn all the values, all the habits, the food, the behavior, the laws of the land in my 30’s. While still being who I’m and who I was before, it’s a daily challenge. Because of that pressure, I let go of worrying about my accent and I’m not worried about it anymore. If I sound like I just arrived here, while asking where the bathroom is in Disneyland, deal with it.

The beauty of being yourself it’s to live free. There are no laws that say that you have to fit in, look and act the same to belong. I wonder why we are so drawn to characters on shows that are funny and quirky, its probably because they are a portrait of something we would like to be in real life.

As I get older, I care less and less about what people think about me and my life, and you should too. It’s fun to be different, to have your vocabulary and the unique way you sound to others. Don’t hide anymore. Make a promise to yourself that, after the Corona Crisis, you will be reborn into something you always wanted to be.

There is no more time to waste. Not after this crisis. Not after being locked up at home, like a bird in a cage, for an entire year and counting.

My promise to myself is not trying to change who I’m anymore to fit in the American patterns. That means that I will be loud, I will be emotional, and I won’t hide where I’m from anymore. I belong to this country as much as any other person born and raised here. My culture will just add up to stir the pot. Like many other cultures that makes this country so amazing and so appealing for all of us.

I had a similar post about this last year Be True to your School

This one was about empowering and embracing your weirdness. This time around it’s to embrace your plenitude and your culture, as part of yourself, of who I’m.

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