to visit the Philippine Islands or to write again!
It wasn’t until I clicked “Purchase” on the airline website that it really hit me…this trip is happening, this research is happening, this is the life I am living.
It’s been over 2 decades, 20 years, 1,040 weeks, 7,300 days, 10.5 million minutes since I have travelled to the Philippines. After losing connection to my ethnic roots, the culture from which my life originates, I will embark on this journey to rediscover what it means to be a Filipina – including life on the islands, the love of family, and what it means to lead in higher education.
When I started my PhD program just two years ago, I would have not imagined that I would be interested in researching the stories and experiences of Filipino/a Americans in higher education. Now that I have made the decision to focus my research on this population of leaders, I also have discovered my desire to learn more about the islands, the people, the culture, and the language from which I originate.
So this is what I will be doing: I will learn the language. I will understand what it means to be Filipino/a (in the US and the PI). I will talk to both sides of my family and collect ourstories. I will learn what it means to be a leader in higher education. I will love where I come from and the life I have been gifted.
…and I will write. I will write it all down because my words and these stories are powerful beyond measure and more valuable than gold. It’s never too late to rediscover life, love, and leadership.
As I sat at a local coffee shop this evening, overhead played a song performed by Louis Armstrong that repeats the words “We shall overcome” and I was instantly inspired to write again for my reflection after a week of experiencing life to the fullest. Like the words of author, Madison Daniel, MUSIC IS MY MUSE tonight.
The past few days have brought the people I care about to share some of the trials and tribulations, challenges and blessings, deaths and births, and comings and goings of their lives. I am sure this happens quite often to me as I invite people to be open and honest when sharing with me their feelings, but this week seems to have been filled with the extreme highs and lows and everything in between that life can bring. The overwhelming feelings of happiness to the unrelenting feelings of despair, it is clear people are living life! Myself included.
I am so blessed to have some amazing and beautiful people around me. They love me, support me, give me critical feedback, and celebrate with me! And in return, I share that same love and support with them and others.
for reaching out,
for your loving embrace,
for breaking bread with me, and
for being here for me through life’s many ups and downs.
Together we shall overcome anything that comes our way.
and as I watch the DVR recording of the Oscars…I watch and feel the music of Pharrell Williams and the fabulous song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 (one of my favorite animated films!) and I’ll leave you with this thought:
Life is better when you have others to love, words to sing, and music to dance to!