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    I’m still hyped that I got to be a part of the #hyperbole2018! Our youth are beautiful. #donotbesilent #splitthisrock ❤️ Today I ran a workshop for the #HyperBole2018. I made myself vulnerable. We opened with “Fear in a Box” where everyone, high school and college students, anonymously wrote their fears and hopes on a piece of paper. Then they crumbled the paper or made a paper airplane to fly into the box. We went around the room and opened up the fears and hopes. One girl noticed that the hopes were internal expectations and the fears related to something or someone external to us. 🤔
I shared my fear: deportation. My workshop was on immigration and immigrant poets. I am not afraid to be the immigrant in the room. I am that girl, but it don’t come easy. I ran the workshop twice, but the first time was the harder one. I have shared my story before, and yet, I never know how my heart will cope on any given day. 💔Today I had to breathe in before saying the words “my fear is deportation” because it is a very valid fear no matter what people say: I’m praying, down with Trump, it’ll be alright. I don’t know if I will stay in my America. I hope that like the fears the youth shared such as letting people down, being alone, spiders, and jellyfish, my fear can be overcome. #callcongress #saveTPS Morning hour. 😴 At a new temporary office! The life of an immigrant poet.
#workweek #before8am
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1,000 miles: step 84

This week I’ve been thinking about being a 20-something.

I’m out of college, and I’m going into October pretty much unemployed, by choice. Don’t get me wrong, I need a job. I also need a career.

I decided that long-term data entry was a job, not a path to a career in writing or editing. It wasn’t an easy choice. The office wasn’t a hostile place. I had a full-time schedule. I could imagine myself staying there, which was part of the problem.

I have to take risks. I strongly believe in my dreams– no one’s going to make them happen but me.

My professors always said, “you can do so much with an English degree.” I haven’t changed my mind about the English degree. I have a valuable degree, but it’s one whose worth has to be proven. All throughout college, I knew that finding a job in my field would be tough. I knew that much.

I have to be honest. I didn’t imagine that the job search would be this hard, that I’ll be on job application #50 within the next week or so.

The 20s is a hard stage.

I’ve always been so ambitious, and that’s not enough. Grit is as necessary. A strong support system is as necessary. I’ve been plagued with more self-doubt than usual. Even though I know not to measure myself by the accomplishments of other people my age, I still look at close friends with full-time jobs and families.

I look at people with English or Communications degrees AND a job. And I wonder when is my life starting?

My adult, out-of-school life has started. It’s one of struggle, and I’m not a stranger to that. In 2012, when I learned I wouldn’t graduate within 4 years from college, I accepted that my life’ has a different rhythm.

These days, it’s back to sending freelance proposals to clients, re-writing cover letters, and getting excited for that one interview.

It’s going beyond writing a to-do list that isn’t related to essays, projects, or grades. It’s checking off my to-do list because I hold myself accountable. It’s…

  • Visit the National Harbor [Done!]
  • Write a collaborative poem [Done!]
  • Don’t panic when you get a flat tire [Done!]
  • Write this blog post [  ]

It’s volunteering with children, but knowing full well that I want a dog in my future. It’s feeling old.

These days, it’s remembering the 20s is young.

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1,000 miles: step 76

Lately, I’ve had to slow down.

The spring semester is over.  I knew a couple of the graduating seniors–thanks to (a short-lived) student writing adventure, so this was the first semester that I paid attention to graduations. Next year is also my graduating year. I started college fall 2011. Twists and turns have pushed me to George Mason, and I finally feel like it’s where I belong.

These days, I’m a lot more content, particularly when I ignore politics. I’ve had the chance to dig into reading, a hungry kind of reading that keeps me still for hours. Last week, I took a CPR and First Aid training course because why not. Summertime means possibilities.

Stay tuned–

1,000 miles: step 38

Claudia, Age 6,

Daddy’s little girl come home for the first time

American soil underneath feet accustomed to the earth of El Salvador

No need for glasses yet and the world still seen as fair

In the recesses of my mind,

Have you found a place to call home?

2013-06-29 15.53.42