This is What Makes Me Who I Am – My Pechakucha
The purpose of this blog post is to introduce myself using a Pecha Kucha that I presented in class but expanded. Typically a Pecha Kucha is composed of ten pictures each presented with a 20-second explanation but for this blog post, I typed an expanded version of what I presented in class. So without further ado, this is what makes me who I am.
I am half Mexican and half Filipino. Being mixed is a huge part of my identity and affects a lot of aspects of my life. When I am at my dad’s house I eat endless Mexican food and his friends who all speak Spanish come over. My dad is actually the vice president of an association called CALMECA that seeks to spread and share Mexican culture with the community. It is also a place where Mexicans can share the Mexican traditions and culture with their children who were born here. I often volunteer there and it’s amazing getting to experience my culture even though I live here. Growing up my brothers and I were often taken care of by my mother’s side of the family. A lot of my childhood was spent under the care of my grandmother. She would make a lot of Filipino meals for us and we would watch her Filipino soap operas together. Getting to be able to experience both of these cultures expanded my world view and created a very unique culture within me that I get to pass onto my future kids.
This is one of the few family pictures I have with both my mom and dad. They separated when I was in grade 2. I know many kids of divorce would wish their parents back together but I never would. While it’s inconvenient sometimes I think in the end it was what was best for everyone involved. Both my parents are still very present in my life and have helped make me who I am. My mother taught me how to work hard and value my studies while my dad passed on his love for people and his ability to fit in anywhere. My parent’s divorce helped me learn how to deal with difficult emotions at a young age and made me mature for my age. The divorce also gave me something I will forever be grateful for, my amazing relationship with my brothers.
Due to my parent’s divorce, my brothers and I have been through a lot together. My older brother was like a third parent growing up and always defended me and my feelings in our house. He is the first one I call when I’m having a hard time and can calm me down and ground me like no one else. I spend most of my time with my little brother. We watch Steven Universe together and duet Hamilton in the kitchen. Often times he will come in my room just to be with me even if he is just on his phone. Because my Mom is usually busy with work and we primarily live with her we quickly learned how to entertain each other. My relationship with my brothers is really unique. Of course, we fight sometimes but we love each other too much to not move on right away. My brothers are two of the most important people in my life and I am grateful for them every day. They encourage me to go after my dreams and inspire me to do better at the things I love to do like art and drama
Many people nowadays know me as a drama kid but little do they know I was an art kid first. This is a piece that I did last year for our 10 piece project. The first picture of my Pecha Kucha is also a piece I did last year for our graffiti project. I have been interested in art for as long as I can remember. Growing up, after my grandma watched us for a while, my aunt did for a couple of years then my cousin. My aunt and cousin are both interested in art and I used to beg them to teach me how to draw. All through elementary and middle school I was known as the girl who could draw. My love of art boils down to my desire to create and express. I find satisfaction in making something that evokes feeling and looks beautiful. I love how art can make people laugh and cry. Art helped me learn how to express my emotions healthily and productively and is therapeutic for me.
Art and drama are my biggest passions even though drama is a more recent one. In middle school, I was in the musicals but drama didn’t become a big part of my life until grade 9 when I had drama with Ms. Orchard. In fact, when I was in middle school they told me I should go into tech when I went into high school. Being in drama combined what I loved about art and what I loved about dance which I did for 12 years. It allowed me to create and express but using my body instead of paint. I especially love directing but I also love acting. The feeling I get when I am on the stage and I am no longer me is crazy. When I’m directing it feels like I’m painting rather than just putting people on a stage. Drama feeds something in my heart and makes it feel full. No matter how stressed I am with life I know stepping into the drama room will make me feel better. The best thing about being in drama is the community. I have always been someone who felt like an outsider but as soon as I joined the drama community I felt like I truly belonged somewhere. Through drama, I was able to improve myself and learn what it was like to be a part of a loving community. Because of the community, I have met some of my best friends and people who I believe I will always have in my life whether it’s physically or in my heart.
Even though I love being onstage I am an introvert. For most of my life, I was an extrovert but in grade 9 I had a mental shift and suddenly being around people exhausted me. It took a bit for me to get used to but now I know when I need to get away to recharge. Being an introvert affects me every day and taught me how to be mindful and take breaks. When I forget to do these things I burn out fast. The transition from extrovert to introvert was hard but ultimately helped make me who I am.
Despite being an introvert I still find time to hang out with my friends. In middle school, I didn’t have many friends who I could depend on and I never felt like I fit in. However, when I went into high school I gained a lot of confidence through drama and made some of my best friends. For example, I have a group of friends that tries to hang out every month to stay connected because most of them switched schools. My friends have a big impact on my life because they all support me and push me to do better. My friends keep me on task and help me when I am struggling but also show me when to have fun. I think my biggest source of friends has been the drama community. Through the drama community, I was able to become friends with students from every age that raise me up and teach me some of the lessons they have learned over the years. These lessons I hope to pass onto the younger grades to pass on the knowledge I’ve attained through my journey in high school.
I am a mom friend. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a mom friend. My greatest joy in life is helping my friends and even people who I barely know. I am often the one people go to for advice or just to rant. I love making people feel comfortable and loved so I always try to help people out even if its something simple like giving someone who forgot a snack a granola bar I have in my bag. Because of my reputation as a mom friend I’ve also gained a lot of friends. I’ve had girls that I’ve never talked to feel comfortable enough with me that they ask me for advice. Being a mom friend has affected many aspects of my life. I chose this year to be the dance captain full time rather than be in a principal role because being with the company and getting to teach them and be a part of that community is more important to me than being in a spotlight. Being a mom friend also affected my want to be a teacher in the future. I want to be someone like Ms. Orchard or Ms. Ahmed who gets to facilitate a community of love every day.
In drama, we say that every character has a need that drives every action that the character makes and last year I learned that mine is love. I am like Tinkerbell if I am not loved and given attention regularly I will die. I enjoy giving love to others and making them feel loved. My favourite part of Christmas is actually getting to give presents. I also love receiving love. I find even little things like someone saying good morning to me or asking how my day is going gives me a little bit of energy. For a long time, however, I relied solely on the love of others to fuel my need for love but in the past couple of years, I’ve been learning how to get that love from myself. I think my biggest change occurred last year. I began to appreciate my talents and I even found days where I felt confident in the hallways. I became so confident in myself I decided to challenge myself by shaving my head which is something I had wanted to do for a long time. This was difficult at first but I have learned to love and embrace my short hair. While I still struggle I strive to improve myself and gain more confidence every day.
My goal in life is to bring light into the lives of others. No matter how dark of an abyss my life is I will still take time out of my life to help someone out. I believe that all of the negative experiences I have had in my life have taught me things that I can now use to help others. I hope to be like a lighthouse in a storm for people who are going through a hard time.