• Richmond Story House

Love Letter to Myself

Updated: Mar 19


A response to a love letter prompt from our Associate Director, Theresa Ronquillo.


Dear Theresa,


I love you, you badass brown mama of a tween PhD social worker artist artivist deep empath sensitive witty self-caring soul-caring community-caring being!


Yesterday your good friend told you that she appreciated

The article you had posted about

The experiences and realities

Of Generation X women going through

Midlife crises.


In other words,

The capitalism, internalized and externalized

The neverending hustle

To earn money,

Take care of your children

And your elderly father

And yourself.


The realization that yes!

You are earning way less

Than your boomer parents

Ok, boomers

Medical doctors who worked their

Immigrant asses off.


The perimenopausal symptoms

Of your body waking up every morning

At five am

Warm flashes

Anxiety

Depression

Fatigue


In other words,

You are the embodiment of this article.

You are exhausted.


But--

“I’m inspired by you”

Your friend also said.

You giggled uncomfortably, out loud

At this declaration.

You replied “Awww shucks.”


Own that, accept that compliment

Don’t make yourself small.

Take up all the space

Tell your stories

Your stories matter

And don’t ever think they don’t.


Dad always tells you to write

Your book.

About your childhood

Growing up in an immigrant family

In the 1970s and 80s

In suburban Detroit.


Add to the canon

Disrupt the dominant narratives

Of growing up in immigrant families

On the west coast

Or in New York or New Jersey.*


Find a publisher

Self publish.

About your adulthood

About your self hood

About your self actualization

About your journey

About your middle age exhaustion

And your midlife awakening.

Figure out a way

Through and out of the oppressive hustle.


You are not alone

Share your stories

So that others realize

They aren’t alone either.

Open up space

For them to share their stories.


Center yourself.

That is what I want for you.


Love,

Theresa


*In the greater landscape of “American stories”, Filipino American narratives are most definitely not included in dominant narratives. However, I am talking about Filipino American stories--novels, memoirs, essays, podcasts, etc.--as another kind of landscape. What do you see, read, and hear? How often do you read about Filipino American Midwesterners or Southerners? I have often felt invisible in this narrative landscape, and I want to change that.

www.theresaronquillo.com

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