I used to have no respect for the past. It only brought bad memories of struggle in my home country, Venezuela. Newer was always better. At 15, I started working as a dancer in a ballet company, at 20 I was out of my house—living with my american boyfriend—and at 24, I was marrying him, on my way to a new life in the USA. As soon as I arrived here, I embraced my new family, my new language, my new way of thinking. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to stop the past from defining me. I kept chasing the excitement of the “new”—I never booked a vacation in the same place or watch the same movie twice—I thought it was a terrible waste of time. I lived as if I had to catch the “train of opportunity”, and no one was going to stop me from getting aboard.
But eventually I became exhausted from chasing the ever moving target of a “better future”. I realized that I couldn’t be all that I wanted to be without embracing my heritage, that perhaps, I could use my past as a reference, as an asset to build a better version of myself based in a reality instead of a figment of imagination.