By Kamille Manuel
With a few hours to go before my article deadline, a few thoughts come to mind.
One, I have poor time management.
Two, I am no writer. I write because I’m required to, whether it’s a 2,000-word paper for a class requirement or a simple essay as a bonus question. I’m not the type to write for leisure.
Three, I’m a perfectionist. I’ve opened more than five Word documents already, each filled with a couple hundred words to write an article about atypical family relationships. With each blank document, I have a new topic and introduction in mind.
Lastly, I love Ecosoc. For the past few days, I’ve spent I-don’t-know-how-long just staring at the blank documents. It’s tough, I don’t write. I rarely do, but this is for Ecosoc, and I know it’ll be worth it.
I’ve combed through several possible topics for this piece, ranging from sibling birth order (and how this affects your personality), to how different families have their quirks and issues.
Instead, I’ll talk about something straight from Thought Catalog (joke!). Like a typical high schooler writing an essay, I’ll start with a quote. And because I’m no writer, I’ll go with the fail-proof and cliché introduction:
“‘Ohana’ means ‘family.’ ‘Family’ means ‘no one gets left behind.'”
“But if you want to leave, you can. I’ll remember you though.”
This line comes straight out of the movie Lilo and Stitch. Everybody knows this film. Lilo had an unconventional family; it was made up of more aliens than humans. But we learned lessons from these aliens that knew next to nothing about people. Just like Stitch, we learn the value of loyalty and commitment. He stayed with Lilo because he wanted to, and he was happy. And like any being with rational thought, Stitch had a choice. He had a choice to stay or leave. He did try to do both, but in the end he stayed, and it was for the better.
Right now, it’s difficult to do the same. Ask any Ecosocer and they’ll almost always say Ecosoc is family. Love Ecosoc and it will love you a thousand times back.
I do love Ecosoc, the people that make up the organization, the events we organize and how it makes so many people happy. It’s great, being part of something so much bigger than us. Ecosoc is so different and dynamic; Ecosoc is my atypical family.
Just like Stitch, I have my doubts and worries. There are times I want to leave, just stop applying for and accepting positions. Let go of the stress and org obligations. Let go of the demanding responsibilities, the expectations set on me and for a while, just breathe and relax. Just like Lilo said, “if you want to leave, you can.” And I really want to.
But I think about what I could possibly be leaving behind, and it scares me. I’ll be leaving behind several more opportunities that can open up for me. I’ll be leaving behind a family that I’ve come to love and value so much; like the tambayan that no matter how messy or cramped or “misplaced”, I’ll always look forward to coming back to. I’ll be leaving behind the work that I’ve come to love and the members that I’ve spent so much time with.
More than anything else, Ecosoc, this atypical family, is one I can never let go of. Because I know that even if I’m pushed to my limits, it’s worth staying for.