I remember my mom had a student. We went to the student’s house in the province and stayed there for a while. The student talked about her brother and said that she asked him if he wanted to study in Manila like she did, but he said “Ayoko, gusto ko lang ng normal na buhay.” I couldn’t understand this. I judged him, thinking he lacked ambition.
I saw a movie called Orange County. He wanted to be a writer, but he lived in a small sleepy town. He wanted to get into Standford. At the end of the movie, he decided that he can stay in Orange County and be a writer there. Anna and I watched this movie for a class. I forgot which class. When the guy decided to stay home, I was confused. Why would anyone do that? Why would you rather stay at home and not go for your dreams? During that time, I was planning to leave my “god-forsaken” country and go to Hollywood. Anna said she didn’t understand why he chose to stay also. We both liked the movie except for the ending.
Now years later I understand both that boy from the province and the character from the movie. Now, when I think of my life as a writer, I think about Pablo Neruda. He didn’t have to live in America to be known all over the world. I feel like my art is inextricably tied to the Philippines and that’s why I left that shiny American Dream to pursue the dream that is truly within my heart.
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Age of the Diary by Jasmine T. Cruz. If you like this post, please subscribe to this blog. Follow Ja on Twitter: ageofthediary. Email Ja at: email@example.com.
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