Tribes. One of the most heartwarming things to hear is “Ate Shawna”. And one (or seventy) of the most beautiful things to see is (are) them.
I found a message from one of my adings seeking advice, and it took me way back to when this family was everything I lived and breathed. At any given moment, I can undoubtedly claim this as one of my greatest accomplishments and one of the best times of my life, taking into account every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears shed day after day.
If there was one thing I wish any of my kids ever learned from me, it would be the concept of building a home. I said on the first day that I’d rather have a tiny group of devoted people than a large group of people who couldn’t give a shit and a half. Luckily, I was blessed with an enormous group of people who wanted it just as badly as I did. But they didn’t sit under the sun on the first day of practice radiating with raw desire; they learned to understand how 70 strangers can change your entire life and make you a better person. Kuya Marc, Kuya David, and I laughed with them and cried with them, had countless ups and downs, fought and made up. It honestly wasn’t about winning, it was finding the potential in this relationship that we had established and giving it our absolute best.
The entire journey was breathtaking. I remember when we incorporated the stanky leg and chanting “EV” into one of the dances. I remember sitting around, gossiping with the girls, and lying to the boys about doing SO MANY squats. I remember doing the Indian Run and everyone cheering me on when it was my turn. I remember crying at practice, telling them how much Tribes has always meant to me, and how much I need them to understand that. I remember question of the day laughing about stupid ass pick-up lines. I remember slacking around in costuming because we turned my house into a glorious prom-asking setting. I remember my games kids taping napkins to their cut up elbows and knees from army crawling on the cement. I remember pool parties at the Vidal household and singing kareoke and playing games. I remember having a random movie night at my house and watching this REALLY weird film (I can’t say this publicly…) and screaming “RUMSPRINGA” all the damn time.
What I don’t remember is the everyday struggle. I don’t remember what it was like to finish my tasks for Core. I don’t remember what it was like if somebody was messing around during dances. I don’t remember what it was like yelling at them or getting all that angry. Any inkling of a negative memory I’ll ever have is buried under bright eyes and brighter smiles.
The day of, my heart was racing because that would be the day when I, as their big sister, had to send them off on their own. And as I sat there on the sideline, cheering on every war prisoner, every soldier, each of my brothers and sisters, I had nothing on my mind. Nothing. I didn’t worry about what I should’ve done better or how we could’ve improved because there was no doubt in my mind that we seriously gave it more than we ever could. And after they struck their final pose, I knew we murdered it.
We. We did it together.
Not me or their Kuya Marc or their Kuya David or any one person on his/her own. We, as a family, grew into this invincible force, tighter than any chemical bond, stronger than any earthquake. And nothing else mattered. We helped one another, trusted each other, and loved everyone. Once we found a purpose beyond ourselves, once we realized that we all had a place in this second family, once we were dripping with passion not for the competition, but for each other, we overcame all obstacles and pushed every limit.
There is nothing that makes me more proud than my Kaba-babies because they have exceeded any and all expectations I could have ever had. I can never accurately articulate how much that experience meant to me, and I will never be able to truly show how much I love and appreciate each and every one of you.
With Tribes coming up right around the corner, I want old members and new members to remember why the people around them are there, and why they, themselves, are there. Are your hearts in the right place? Can you look to the person on your left and the person on your right and think, “This is my brother and this is my sister. And a year from now, five years from now, I’ll look back at them, knowing that they are still very much my family.” Will you remember the stupid jokes and the embarrassing moments that you have shared with each other? Can you say that they have opened your heart? Can you say that you’ve done the same? You, individually, will only be at your best when you are overflowing with genuine compassion and desire to truly thank these angels. So if you’re not there, well, get there. This is the only time where you can look past all your differences, come together as a school, and show the world how amazing your family has grown to be.
I’d like to think that I did a decent job raising you, and I can only hope that I’ve inspired any of you at all. I was so impressed with you all last year, and I have no doubt that I’ll feel just the same this year. First or last, I know how incredible you all are; all you have to do now is let everyone else know. You’ve come a long way, and when you approach the end of the road, grab the hand of the person next to you and cross the finish line together. You’re a family, and that is a victory in itself.
Isang bagsak. One fall. So if you’re going to fall, fall in love with the family that has been supporting you through one of the hardest, most gratifying times of your life.
27 Apr 2012 / 23 notes