Pride 2017

The transcript of this video is below.

Navigating identity and self is a complex journey. For the first time since coming out, I attended Pride.

Being in Boston surrounded by friends, the community, and led by the survivors of Pulse made me proud, more so than ever before.

The community is resilient, persistent, loving and supportive. Despite the flaws, which exist in any group, overall everyone is proud and loud of our existence.

Four years ago I hadn’t given my identity a passing thought. Now it’s a huge aspect of who I am. But I’m more than queer. That is one line of my intersectionality. I’m Polynesian, a nerd, a gamer, a hard cider drinker, a daughter, a friend.

Who I am is layered and growing. I’m not sure what the next few years will have in store for me and my identity, but I’m excited to see what happens next.

And to continue living proudly with my community.

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So it goes.

The transcript of this video is below.

As a freshman, my friend Jess told me that the next four years would fly by. Time is a goon.

It’s the weekend before finals, and as I and my peers write term papers and rehearse presentations, I’m faced with bidding farewell to a place I’m privileged to call home. This bittersweet experience makes my throat get tight and my eyes well.

For the first time in four years, I’m going to pack up my room and not move across campus for the summer. I won’t walk into the Office of Residence Life for work and spend my evenings hanging out with friends on the RA staff.

College is this strange time in your life where you are figuring out who you are. A process that doesn’t stop after you put on the cap and gown.

In two weeks I’m going to cross a stage and be given a diploma. A piece of paper that represents my academic achievement. What it doesn’t show is the tears, mental breakdowns, coffee cups, laughter, late nights, and friends I gained along the way.

I grew far more at college than I ever would have anticipated. That growth changed me for the better, even though at times it didn’t feel worth it.

Wherever I end up I will have these memories to look back on. They say when one door closes, another opens. But this feels like more than that. This is more than closing a chapter of my life.

So it goes.

About those rejection emails

I am going to make the assumption I am not getting accepted to grad school this year. With four out of five rejections in, I think I can bet on the final rejection coming at some point in the next week or two. Or perhaps I should assume by their silence that it won’t happen this year.

If I were a traditional college student, I think this number of rejections would hurt a lot more. Early-twenties me would have taken the rejection much harder, which would have fueled my imposter syndrome in a way that perhaps would have made me reconsider writing. The self-deprecation of my skills was stronger then.

At twenty-seven I’m taking these rejection emails in stride. I can make some guesses as to why I’m being told no. My research subject was too odd. My research was too specific. My research wasn’t targeting the right school. I can’t art for the one MFA program I applied to. You know what, though? That’s fine.

I keep reminding myself that things happen for a reason.

I’ll sulk into some video games and comic books this weekend, maybe even treat myself to some Mr. Macs or tacos.

And then I’ll dive head first into the job applications. I’ll talk to some professors about their thoughts on my next steps, and see what advice they can give me.

I’ve been rejected from things before, and I’ve learned that I function best by taking my negative energy and putting it towards something new.

We’ll see what I make this time.