insights of a text message
Okay. Here goes.
Tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM is my direct flight to Washington, after which I’ll take a flight to Orlando. I should have slept a while ago but I couldn’t, because of the paranoia. I’m scared of traveling back because I don’t know what to expect. Why is it, that I should face all this scrutiny because of the fact that I lived in Saudi Arabia or that I was born to Pakistani parents. Why should I be judged for my skin color, when sometimes I feel more American than anything else? And the worst part is, why should I expect to be stereotyped and discriminated against?
These were things we brushed on at Gatorship, the multicultural retreat I went to in February that changed my life forever. I went to Leadershape in May, where we very briefly talked about stereotypes. When I was asked to share, I automatically started sobbing. As I awkwardly fumbled for the kleenex that was placed on the table, I wondered why I couldn’t formulate my thoughts and speak in full sentences. I just can’t. I just can’t talk about stereotypes/racism/prejudice/etc. Want to see me upset? Just mention it.
So in efforts to reduce my overbearing anxiety, I finally packed (and actually finished early for once). And then I sat down, found my old Nokia XpressMusic smartphone and decided to read all my text messages - from junior year. Junior year was quite a year for me.
Sometimes I wish I was that way still - but then I see how much I’ve grown. I’m different now. I would never be spiteful to any one of my friends. Everyone has good qualities and I look for that. And after my freshmen year of college, I learned how to deal with guys better and get out of dates yet maintain friendships. But if I could go back - I still wouldn’t change a thing. Everything that’s happened has made me all that much better of a person today. And I thank you all for it.
So I selected all on my texts. It was kind of silly but here’s what happened next: I shivered and felt nauseous. So I carefully exited and turned off my phone. It will be like a time box thing: I’ll look upon this next year and evaluate myself all over again.
Read a few old texts and you’ll realize how much you’ve changed. And if you haven’t - well, there’s the problem.