blog 02. bulletin board
“What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” is a question that I have asked myself a lot in particular recently as the future I thought was determined for me has become to unravel in college.
Plagued by a fear of failure and regret, I dove headfirst into everything I found even the slightest inclination toward, from neuroscience to writing to programming. In high school, the plan was to bless my college self with every option she could dream of. What I had not considered then was how much worse regret must feel when you’ve had every option in the palm of your hand only to abandon them in pursuit of a few, or one.
In retrospect, I realize that much of my internal dialogue on the necessity of making a single decision stemmed from the mindset my immigrant parents instilled in me, as it was the only reality they had known. There was no space for options when you had a family to raise and care for.
However, in a world and space where it has become increasingly possible and accessible to change your career path multiple times in your life, I feel hopeful and more secure that whatever decision I ultimately make for myself will be the best for that moment.
For this sophomore year, I’m dedicating my efforts to being honest with myself regarding what it is I want and don’t want without the pressure of creating an idealistic perfect future. I hope to be able to end the spring semester by coming to some type of decision.
Inspired by this train of thought, I have written the following poem, titled “Bulletin Board,” about my experience of bearing the weight of responsibility that comes with being a child of immigrants in the United States. I see where the poem is at right now as a part one that I hope to append continuations to over the next few months as I see how the bulletin board of my life evolves, along with the help of the CUNY Peer Leaders program.
When I am born, the first pin pierces my body.
Through the center of my abdomen,
I become bound to this world.
From one hand,
A nail is hammered through to my mother’s,
The second to my father’s.
I am losing blood,
Thrust into an environment where I can’t speak
Messily and relentlessly revived by the little my own parents have left to give me,
For they too are riddled by pins and nails of their own,
Centered by the one we all share
To this world.