two families

my mother is perhaps the strongest willed person i know. and because she had a big hand in raising all of her own siblings, i think she was prepared to be a mom in a way that few are. she knew exactly which values to instill in us, and did so with an iron fist. probably the most important one to her, and now to me, is the role of family in one's life.

all throughout my childhood, she told me and my brothers to stick together, and how important her own strong relationships with her siblings have been. we were to always protect and stand up for our family, and to respect our elders.

my family thinks i ran away, that i escaped. i didn't. they think it's premeditated. or that staying here is a way of saying i don't want to be near them. it's not.

coming to berkeley was a fluke--it certainly wasn't what i wanted for myself, and i was really unhappy for a long time once i got here. but it was the best compromise we could come up with, so i took it. and after a year or so, i started to make a place for myself. i made friends, and a certain twist of events led me to become a (small) part of something grand--a different kind of family, one whose reach extends to places i'd never dreamt of.

somewhere along the way, i must have done something right to get the chance to become a part of cp. i think about that a lot. the effect it's had on my life is huge, and words fail me when trying to describe it. the only other people who understand are ones who've been through the same thing. there are so many eccentricities and idiosyncrasies when it comes to that place, so much politics and rampant emotion. but there is also camaraderie, understanding, and the feeling that you are around people who will take care of you.

i've never tried or wanted to run away from my own family, and as i watch my parents take care of their siblings and parents in difficult times, i know that those responsibilities will one day fall to me, and i'm prepared for that. it's the cycle of life, and i will be happy and proud to care for and comfort my parents and brothers when the time comes, but in the meantime, i want to follow my own path and see where it will lead me.

as much as i wanted to dwell on my great disappointment last month, i wasn't able to for more than a couple of days. i sprung directly into action, and have made some promising leaps. i've surprised myself with my emotional maturity, and focusing on what is possible takes away much of the pain of past failures.

another responsibility i feel is to myself to not take the easy way out: i want to get where i want to go on my own merits, not by milking the cp name for all it's worth. there are so many amazing and endlessly entertaining stories about what's gone on in that place, but they aren't my stories to tell. i am proud to have been a part of cp, and i want it to be proud to have had me be a part of it.


  1. I'm not sure if there is something happening in the background that you haven't explicitly shared, but personally I don't see anything wrong with you capitalizing on your cp experiences. They are, most definitely, your stories to tell... and you shouldn't feel ashamed to do so.

  2. it's nothing like that, jen. i definitely feel an ownership of my own experiences with cp, and i know that i will write about them when the time is right. i just don't want to milk alice's or cp's name for my own gain, as a lot of people have suggested i do (and as i've watched many others do). i don't want to be a hanger-on, and i don't want to talk smack about people to get ahead. i want to make a name for myself based on what i accomplish. that's all.