18 Years of Family and Basketball

(“Tomorrow’s Voices Today“ is a new series curated by poet and educator Mike Sonksen.)


18 years, 18 years of growth and constant change in perception, for the better. 18 years of finding myself, day by day and, in my opinion, it’s nothing but growth, whether it’s a blessing or a struggle, it’s all growth. Growing up, different experiences led me to be who I am, experiences lead everyone to be who they are. My difference is simply being aware, aware of life, its beauty, its misconception. My life has taken many different paths to figure out who I really am, and although it causes me confusion, it also brings me closer to who I will be and those paths include the essential elements of family, basketball and my love for writing, specifically poetry.
Life’s impact on me and has given me new perspectives, and as I grow it’s not about me responding to those impacts, it’s my new perspectives having impact on my life. The power we have is administered by us, we give life too much power and we are surprised when we let life control us, which is why the power should reside in us where we impact our own life for the better of ourselves and other people.
Controlling My Own Life
My parents have given me this idea of controlling my own life. My parents were immigrants coming to America in 1992, and their idea on life was to own life and make sure life doesn’t own you. That is why they find themselves happy throughout the struggles in their life. While going through the motions of one’s life, it’s hard to notice that one must be aware of their own life. Most people are not aware because their attention is locked in on the masses and their opinion of people’s lives so they adapt to satisfy the masses and live a life that’s not their own.
I never followed this way of thinking because my parents stressed the idea of being yourself and living your own life. They always told me that life is given to you, for you, to control.
I have been playing basketball since I was 4 and throughout my life it has given me one of the biggest gifts of my life, and that gift is happiness. Basketball has been a tool I can relate to real life situations, as if my life is never ending basketball tournament, where I lose many games and question my strategy on how I approach this new game/situation in life so I can win more. And the games I win in, I consider the past games that I’ve lost and appreciated all of the experience because without them, I would have never won these games later in life.
Basketball has given me a joy that I will never let go of and without it, I would’ve never received a CIF Championship my Junior year and CIF Player of the Year and first team Del Rey league my senior year. Simply put, without basketball, my life’s journey would not be the same and because of it I have a stronger mentality and work ethic which correlates with life.
Writing is a new love I have found. I honestly use to dislike writing, but this idea of expressing yourself through words that can also affect others to see life in a new light inspires me deeply. Writing is a beautiful component of life that gives us understanding of what we are capable of. I have become empowered through writing poetry. Writing poetry is a way I express my viewpoint on different aspects of life whether it’s happiness, illusions, sadness or identity, it’s a way to show my perspectives on life.
Poetry is a gift, poetry also gives me insight and it gives me joy. After writing countless poems, I find more light about myself that helps me impact my life. Poetry is just a bunch of words put into the right order and affects people like music and art. Poetry brings true happiness to me and makes me aware of life and the masses that control a part of life.
Thank you poetry, I owe you.
My Life and the way I live is because of these three elements and without it I would not be able to reach the happiness I do know. Considering all, and I mean ALL of life’s twists and turns that we acknowledge, we must be aware of the elements that bring us this happiness, we must be aware of ourselves and the masses, we must be aware of our impact on life and we must be aware of the power within us.
18 years of constant change in perception, 18 years of love, 18 years of emotion-based decisions, 18 years of beauty within the world, 18 years of life, and with more years to come whether the sun rises or not, we will continue to create our own light where we impact ourselves and the world.

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