I arrived in DC exactly a week ago. As the plane prepared to descend at the airport, a lump in my throat, a mixture of nerves and hope entered my chest, I could barely breathe. Usually when we are about to embark on a big change in our lives, these sensations take over us, it almost feels like jumping to the void, in this case I was making a leap to the capital of the United States of America, the promised land, right? Expectations are inevitable, not even my 10 years as a buddhist could stop the anxieties that throbbed next to my heart. Especially for a young homosexual man who has never been away more than 3 months from his family and friends.
Well, the plane landed, I could not help shedding some tears of happiness, every day of uncertainty had come to an end and with it, a stage that I left behind as soon as I stepped on American land. I still feel so…full of emotions, I find myself strangely vulnerable, as if I had just emerged from my shell.
Tonight my heart broke a little bit, for the first time since I got on that plane that brought me here, I feel afraid. I am afraid of not being able to give my best, I am afraid of not being able to help someone who needs my help, because maybe I also will be needing a lot of help. I am afraid of having left behind my family and friends for nothing, I am afraid of not finding myself in this culture, I am afraid of failing. But at the same time, I am full of hope, today we have all witnessed the meaning of the word COMMUNITY. I feel blessed and fortunate to be a part of this incredible legacy of human beings; I am impressed by all the stories behind those clear eyes, or that twisted smile or that cinnamon skin. I see myself and I realize that I am not afraid alone, we are several, and now more than ever, we are several that we have hope, that we believe that we are here for a reason, that we do not leave everything back in vain, that we want to make of this world a better place, that we want to be better human beings.
I do not know if anyone will ever read this, but I want to express my eternal gratitude to the whole community of fellows who have been here long before me, I want to offer them my respect and admiration, but above all, a new friend, a new brother, I am yours. Today more than ever I am afraid, but it is a fear that I like to have, because behind that fear there is a lot of hope, a lot of faith and always, a lot of love. Let’s be happy, we deserve it.