Today I Became A Citizen
After so many years, so many ups and downs, paper work, lines & appointments; today I was sworn in along with 1,200 + Northern California naturalized citizens. My family worked extremely hard for this day and so did the SF based organization that helped us along in our early days in this country.
I am so grateful and overwhelmed at this moment. My family left El Salvador in a time of extremely devastating civil war and this country did give us refuge and a lot of opportunity.
My life and journey has been unique yet, this moment was like no other I’ve ever had the privilege to experience. There were over 102 countries represented in that theater plaza and I felt such an intense happiness to look at the brown, black, beige, red, tan and everything in between faces looking back at me.
Today, while sitting in that plaza everything felt so gargantuan compared to me. I didn’t know how to contain all that I was feeling, relief & release of that overwhelming fear of deportation so many of us know, happiness, joy, pride and so many memories rushing through me. It was hard to contain and place a name to but when I turned to my left just as a person from India was standing to represent their country and I saw that smile and tears streaming I knew they understood. I let it out then. I smiled back, genuinely and the tears pushed through past all of the thoughts.
I know this is a privilege and it feels unreal. Looking at this picture, I know it really happened. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through all of these years and know that this is just one huge step for me toward what I work for and fight for every day.
All of you.
Siempre con cariño,