I Want More

Julie - Sherman Oaks, California
Entered on March 9, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in wanting more. Now, that’s a greedy little statement.

Here’s a little background to help. My parents emigrated from the Philippines in 1970 to Detroit, Michigan with $200 and the clothes on their back. For 7 years my parents worked, traveled and discovered the world without family for guidance. In 1976 a surprise pregnancy gave them their only daughter. 1970s modern medicine told my mother she wouldn’t be able to have children because of ovarian cysts. Needless to say, I was very welcomed and photographed often.

When I was 9 my mother sat me down and said, “Julie, you will always have to work harder than everyone around you. You are female and a minority. Anything you want you will have to work twice as hard a white female and three times as hard as a man.” I remember being so angry. I didn’t want to believe that just because I was a girl and tan I would be treated different.

At 10, I decided I wanted more. I wanted more than the options my parents offered. I spent the next 18 years believing if I treated people around me with kindness and respect I had the right to expect them to do the same. I firmly believed if I pushed the world to believe what I believed, the world would change. Well, not so much.

A few good friends have fallen to the wayside because I couldn’t accept that they didn’t want more. As I entered my 30s I realized that I had to want more for myself before wanting more for the world. My epiphany came when I moved in with my current roommate. Living with her I realized by observing her changes: a woman in her 30s, balancing an acting career and creative desk job in LA, I had to embrace her beliefs about herself even if I didn’t agree with it. I have to accept the world’s belief about itself.

So here I am, 32, restructuring my belief of wanting more by being an example of my hopes for others. I’m back to writing. I’ve decided to learn new skills. Last month was knitting. This month is juggling. Next will be balloon sculpting and then a summer of photography. I’ve decided to want more financially with a financial advisor. In these times it can’t hurt. Finally, and this is the big one, I’ve want more emotionally. This January I decided to start seeing a therapist. I’ve been hiding this from my peers as I needed to come to terms with what I was trying to accomplish. However, if I want more, I need to not hide the things I do to help make me a better person.

I hope that my peers who will read this will allow themselves to want more, but I believe by vocalizing all that you keep in yourself you will either validate those beliefs or realize you might want just a little bit more.