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Identity: Breathe



Joined: 9/29/2014
Posts: 1
ailagan
Behind the closed door of my bedroom, I can breathe with ease. I inhale the freedom to be and exhale with alleviating relief as I temporarily escape the toxicity of playing their perfect daughter. I no longer have to bite my tongue when my parents praise the voices of Fox News at the dinner table. I do not have to tiptoe through my words when Dad asks for my thoughts on political matters or feel uneasy when Mom abruptly cuts off my input. They admonish me enough, regardless of my remarkable grades and my trouble free history. I fear that I may find utter disappointment in their eyes once I make clear that their views are not mine.

To clarify this matter, my fear of upsetting them does not exist because I think they hate me. In fact, I know they love me, which is why they shelter me with the same ideals that surrounded their lives back in Philippines. For their peace of mind, they focus their efforts to turn me into the embodiment of their conservative values. I even used to believe that their opinions were true. But then I saw that my parents did not support gay rights, despite my gay brother. I saw how they believed that low income workers “aren’t working hard enough”, even though my mother grew up in poverty. Everytime I express the slightest bit of doubt to their ways, they raise their voices in strict objection to my own voice. I then refrain from speaking up and act as if my words should stay unsaid.

I often retreat to school or online communities to get away from the weight of my parents’ expectations. These are places that I consider sanctuaries for me to form my own views of morality and find my own influences. School and online are places are I can further develop a critical eye and an open mind. At High Tech High, I encounter people of diverse backgrounds on a daily basis and work within a community that accepts each other. I additionally have multiple opportunities to engage in political issues and I can participate in my school’s Gay Straight Alliance. On social media websites, I have been introduced to movements such as feminism and social justice. These movements I favor share one common goal: to create a world where everyone is treated equally. As I surround myself with these insights, I treasure and utilize my abilities to take in new perspectives, look through different lenses, and challenge cultural norms.

Regardless, many of the values I deem important today would not exist without the strict and traditional practices of my parents; my values originated from what my parents refused to teach me. The hypocrisy that I recognise in their beliefs only spark my desire to advocate for modern justice movements. Without their toxic air, I would not have learned how to inhale new thoughts and exhale a newfound passion.
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Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire StageofLife.com editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Identity essay being selected as one of our top 10 essays for the September 2014 writing contest. Our editors are still voting on the winning essay, and if your essay is selected, we will contact you directly via your registration email and we will post a comment on your essay.

To view all the results of our September 2014 contest, please check our winners page on or after October 30th:
http://www.stageoflife.com/Writing_Contests/WritingContestWinners.aspx

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Thiegs
StageofLife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 3:29:21 PM
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Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
I would like to congratulate you for your Identity essay being selected as our second place Teen Essay for September 2014.

To view all the results of our September 2014 contest, please check our winners page on or after October 30th:
http://www.stageoflife.com/Writing_Contests/WritingContestWinners.aspx


Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Thiegs
StageofLife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 8:16:46 PM
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