Creative Writing: Soul Sisters

Creative Writing: Soul Sisters

Chapter 8 of 8
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It is now six months later to the day— August 4. London and I are in the middle of the New York trip of our dreams, and life is good. We have been wandering the streets aimlessly, seeing Broadway shows, and eating the most delicious food I have ever tasted. It is beyond anything we ever could have imagined!

London has been responding well to treatment and is most certainly on her way to being cured. The doctors think that within about one and a half to two years, she will be in remission. By far, the best news I have ever heard.

As for me, I will be attending NYU in the fall. I did not want to since London could not be with me like we always planned, but she encouraged me to. She plans to take classes online and join me in the city as soon as she can. All I can say is that I cannot wait for that day!

These past few months have been such a whirlwind for both London and myself. When I think back to the day when my mom told me about London’s diagnosis, I do not think I ever would have thought we would have been where we are now. Although it is in no way ideal, I think London’s leukemia made us both stronger. We have learned so much more about each other, as well as grown immensely as individuals. I feel that sometimes, the bad things that happen in our lives help us to appreciate the good things even more.

The day of my surgery, when I was in recovery and had just woken up, the doctor came in and told me he thought I was a hero for what I did for my friend.

“I’m definitely not a hero,” I told him, “all I did was help a friend who needed me.”

“Ah,” he said, “but don’t you see? That’s just it! Those who do not realize what they are doing is heroic— now those are the most heroic people of them all.”

Cover Image Credit: Wallpapers Wide

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Just Because I'm From Hawaii, Does Not Mean I'm Hawaiian

My residency is not my race.
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Let me start off with a few things about myself. I am a first generation American who is primarily Filipino, Spanish and Hungarian. With that said, I am a woman of color, who frankly, looks all white. I was born and raised on the North Shore of O'ahu, but currently live in the mainland.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about Hawai'i, because I'm sure you don't know much about it since it's only given like, a paragraph of recognition in our history books. The Ancient Hawaiians traveled by canoe for thousands of miles using only the stars to navigate and found themselves in the Hawaiian Islands. They settled and their culture spread throughout the mountains and shores.
In 1778, Captain Cook "discovered" the islands, despite the thriving population residing there (he can be compared to Christopher Columbus). In the 1830s, the Sugar Industry was introduced, bringing a diverse range of immigrants from China, the Philippines, Japan and many other countries to work on the plantations, creating the diverse and ethnic population that makes up the islands today. In the 1890s, Queen Lili'uokalani (lily-oo-oh-kah-lah-nee) was imprisoned in an upstairs bedroom of her palace and soon after, the monarchy was overthrown. Hawai'i became a state in the 1950s.

With all of that said, we can now discuss an issue that I have realized needs to be addressed.

Since I moved to the mainland, I have had many encounters where people assure me that I am Hawaiian, despite my rebuttals that I am definitely not. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Them: "So you're from Hawaii, are you Native Hawaiian?"

Me: "Oh no, I'm Filipino, Hungarian and Spanish."

Them: "No, I mean, were you born and raised there?"

Me: "Yeah, but I'm not Hawaiian."

Them: "Yeah you are. It's the same thing."

No, it is most definitely not the same thing. If you were in Japan and saw a white person or any person not of Japanese descent, would you ask if they were Japanese simply because they lived there?
No, you wouldn't because you should know that residency does not equate descent. Sure, you might be curious and ask, but if they told you they weren't Japanese, you wouldn't try to convince them that they are. As I mentioned, Hawaii's population is made up of a ton of immigrants, and just because someone's family may have been there for generations, they are still not Hawaiian unless they actually have Hawaiian blood.

Not only do people assume that I am Hawaiian simply because I am from there, but they will continuously say that I look Hawaiian even if they have no idea what someone of Hawaiian descent looks like. Hawaiians are people of color, as are many of those who reside in the islands. However, as I previously mentioned, I do not look like a person of color even though I am, so why would you associate me, a seemingly full white person, to be Hawaiian? It makes no sense.

There are many things wrong with choosing to misidentify an individual or a group of people.
One, is that by you convincing yourself that I am something that I am not, you are diminishing who I am, and how I identify myself.
Second, you are creating an illusion based upon your own desires of who Hawaiians as a people are.
Third, by using me specifically, you are whitewashing the image of an entire race. I could go on, but there is not enough time in the world to name them all.




Their culture has been reduced to leis, aloha shirts, surfing, and tiki torches. Aloha has become a household word used by people who have no understanding of what Aloha truly means. Girls go as hula dancers in an effort to show skin on Halloween without any second thought. Please stop. We cannot continue to misidentify, appropriate and basically erase Hawaiian culture, just as has been done to the Native Americans.

Hawaiians have already been stripped of their land. I will not allow them to be stripped of their identity as well.

Cover Image Credit: TourMaui

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To Niall Horan And My Best Friend, Thank You For The Best Summer

The summer where we followed Niall on tour.

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To start off, I met my best friend Caroline in the tenth grade. She is my go-to gal, and I could never imagine my life if we didn't become friends. When we first met, we instantly bonded over our love for One Direction together. One Direction was the core of our friendship. We laughed and bawled our teenage boyband obsessed eyes out when they went on their hiatus which meant essentially they would be breaking up.

A year went by, a whole year with no music from any of the boys. Until our senior year rolled around and Niall announced he would be releasing an album and going on tour. Caroline and I were thrilled, we never knew how badly we needed this. When the album was released, we soon bought our concert tickets.

His show was in November of that year. The day of the concert we were overjoyed as we had waited so eagerly for that day. We missed him so much. We waited in line for what seemed like days but in actuality was only eight hours and were able to snag a great place to stand during the show. The concert itself is one of my favorite memories. It was such a warm and welcoming environment, and I never knew I could feel like that. After that show, Caroline and I knew we had to see him again.

We weren't sure when we were going to be able to see him. The next time he was playing in Atlanta was in September of this year. However, Caroline would be at her school in Chicago and had no way to be able to see him in our home town. We came up with a plan. We were going to convince our parents to let us see him in July in Nashville. We made a powerpoint and everything in hopes that it would work.

Our convincing our parents which ended up being a bit easier than we ever expected. We were in the clear to go. We purchased our tickets for that July to see him at Ascend Amphitheater. We bought soundcheck tickets and everything to make this an experience of a lifetime.

July soon come and we headed off for the adventure of a lifetime. It was an experience let me say. Driving on the highway, our GPS taking us down a one-way road and almost being slammed into by eighteen wheelers definitely made it memorable. We made it Nashville in one piece thankfully. We had a few hours before the show and just decided to get ready in our hotel and head to the venue.

Time passed so quickly. It's almost hard for me to remember everything. Niall's soundcheck was such an experience. We got to see a side of him we had never seen. He is one of the nicest people. He cares so deeply about us fans and constantly checking on us.

The show itself was indescribable. He was so happy to be able to play in Nashville. The show was completely sold out. It was a madhouse. Caroline and I befriended the girls beside us, and we danced the whole night away. We had waited for so long and it was just the best feeling to have no worries about anything because everyone was in the same boat and we were all able to appreciate Niall's pure talent together.

When the show ended, we were devastated because a night we had longed for had quickly come to an end. We spend the rest of the night in our room depressed because we didn't know the next time we would be seeing him. In the morning, we decided to go and grab some breakfast.

We had another master plan to try and see him the following night in Ohio. We really didn't think this plan would work. We both had to work the following few days, and we never thought our parents would allow us to do this so last minute. However, everything worked out and we were able to travel to Cincinnati to see him one more time.

In Cincinnati, we had the best time being able to explore the city for a day and being able to go to the show later that evening. We were so appreciative that we were able to see him again. We really had no care in the world. We danced the night away yet again. It was just so great to be able to be in that space and just have the best time listening to your favorite artist.

I will always look back on last summer. My best memories happened because of Niall and I couldn't be more grateful for both him and my best friend. I only hope we can do it again sometime soon.

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