Dear She,

Spending 8 consecutive years in a foreign country, it’s easy to forget where you’re from. Although I may not know what the future will bring, I can only dispense this one piece of advice: Appreciate your roots.
Appreciate your accent; know that you have spent 15 years of your life speaking english to the world and speaking tagalog to your family. Love how your words bring two cultures together. Appreciate all of those years of being chastised for pronounciation, and grammar because if you hadn’t worked hard back then you would not have gotten into those honors and AP English classes. Appreciate your skin; your color doesn’t make you any less capable of doing great things than your neighbors, even though you are often judged by your nationality. Appreciate your hair; your hair shouldn’t be a wall to hide behind. Appreciate your eyes; black is the color that reflects the world like a mirror, and in them you can see infinity. Appreciate your stomach; It has eaten the traditional foods of your ancestors and has experienced the foods of this world. Appreciate your smile because your parents are working twice as hard every day to give you the college education they never had and they still come home and manage to smile through their tired eyes. And lastly, appreciate your parents; if your parents haven’t shown you what hard work and diligence is, you would still be in the slums where they grew up. Remember that even if you are American on your passport, Filipino will always be in your blood, and that is something to be proud of.

Love, Me.
Age: 18

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