By Lorena Maca Garcia
A piece that has been waiting too long to say what needed to be said, out loud and to the world. Regardless of everything that has happened this year, I’m happy to be alive!
Writing has been difficult to do even physically, as if my hand has forgotten what to do. Typing seems like all I do, even in the barest details I have to type to communicate, inform, and even to say I love you. Nothing is ever how it once was, and I preferred to look at my own world before me, with nice rose-colored glasses and a cup of iced coffee. Now change is set and it keeps turning, a wheel of events spinning to see what’s next. All the while I stay trying to keep a smile on my face and in the shelter of my own home, one I used to detest. I grow scared of the outside world, the lack of memory installing itself with just everyday routine going on autopilot. I don’t want routine, I don’t want big changes, I want simple little acts of nonsense and unexpectancy. I want to know how to laugh out loud again without being shamed into being quiet when others are in “a meeting” or “days are too rough.” I want to smile at the simplest of things like when my dog lays down next to me or when I smell my newly lit caramel candle. I want to be there for friends when times are hard and uneasiness sets in but keeping them and their families safe will always come first in and everything impeding that is shamed upon even into submission. Writing is what I am doing by typing on a simple Chromebook laptop, something that is not my own, but what I need to use for my now-everyday occurrences. To be a simple teenager will be gone in a few months’ time and the expectations of adulthood will follow me from that point on. The future, change, and even feeling anything is scary and yet we choose everyday to move forward with the smallest of steps. Moving alongside time in tune with a melody no one seems to know the lyrics to, but continues to dance along without a care in the world. I’m happy, I’m happy to be alive.
The process of this piece was really simple, yet, at the same time, excruciatingly hard to get to the heart of what I wanted. I had multiple ideas and different ways to go about this piece, things I didn’t want to talk about and moments of time where I didn’t want to write anything or I hated everything I wrote. I had a lack of creativity, motivation and overall something that was stopping me. I was limiting myself. I, at first, didn’t want to talk about my personal struggles during these difficult times (which is such an overused line, by the way) because everyone was different and it seems like it should only matter to them. But that was the very thing I ended up writing about: How my own views and problems as a high school senior going to college experienced the pandemic and became a young adult in the process. However, through everything that has happened—the lives that were lost that we honor, and those that we did not lose—we can be happy that we’re here. Be happy that you, who are reading this, are alive! Because I am and those who I love and care about are too.
Lorena lives in a quiet neighborhood in the Bronx and is currently a senior enrolled at a public high school in the South Bronx. Taking honors, AP Classes and college courses, she is striving towards her own expectations by sheer will and determination. She challenges herself to seek out all the brightest possibilities in the world, expressing her emotions through words, as well as her inner mind and inner self. She writes the majority of her pieces at a cafe little known to others, sipping an iced coffee with a “reasonable” amount of sugar.