some context: it’s a Mexican tradition that the 3 Wise Men bring you presents/toys every January 6th if you’ve been a good kid all year long. it’s similar to Santa Claus bringing presents. we also have that.
I started writing this 2 weeks ago when the 3 Wise Men were still relevant haha then I didn’t finish and decided not to publish it anymore. or that’s what I thought until I started crying when I was reading We Are Displaced on the bus. this book is a collection of stories about refugee girls and women. don’t forget this.
and maybe you’re asking yourself… what does this book has to do with the 3 Wise Men? well, I have a point, I promise. and everything’s related.
I can’t remember a lot of things the 3 Wise Men or Santa didn’t bring to me. I once asked for a tarantula and thank God they didn’t bring it. I can’t even remember why I wanted a tarantula, it’s very off-brand. but, what I remember the most is asking for
this was a very awesome toy. for starters, it was a board game. don’t picture
I googled this toy and couldn’t find anything that looks remotely like it. maybe it never existed and that’s the reason I didn’t get it haha. the 3 Wise Men and Santa can’t recall anything.
there were many things that I asked for and got… like 13 Dead End Drive or a Scrabble. there were also many other things I didn’t ask for but that I got and LOVED like a bike with green tires. so it was never like: ash, I didn’t get any present this Christmas.
back to We Are Displaced. there’s a part where a woman works as a volunteer helping refugees and she describes how she discovered how many privileges she had.
she tells the story about how she met a refugee family from Congo, Marie Claire’s family. Jennifer (the volunteer) writes that she was super worried because the house this family was going to live in didn’t have painted walls, had a hole in the kitchen and a leaking faucet. she was really worried about that.
when the family entered the house, they couldn’t believe it. THEY HAD A HOUSE. AND RUNNING WATER. THEIR OWN BATHROOM. THEY FELT SAFE. THEY WERE TOGETHER. quoting Jennifer, they found opportunities where she only saw problems.
and what the fuck.
I’ve always been very privileged. I had already written about it in this post about feminism. in the great scheme of things, I’ve been very lucky. there are many opportunities that have just appeared in front of me to be taken. and I’ve just taken them.
but, I recognize that these opportunities, even if I didn’t look for them, come from a place of privilege. like freelancing without the fear of dying of hunger. it’s hard to recognize it most of the times. I even have the privilege of being who I want to be and not be persecuted because of it (like many refugees).
so finally, confession time about me crying in the bus. I started crying because Marie Claire could graduate from high school. she was the first one in her family to do it. I never asked myself if I would do it. I always knew I would graduate from high school and that I would go to university.
Marie Claire had to flee her country, her family too. the rest of the women in We Are Displaced HAD to get out of their countries because of poverty, violence, intolerance. can you even imagine having to flee your home? can you imagine having to abandon everything you know not knowing where you’ll go or if someone will help you?
I can’t picture it. that’s the truth. I’ve never been in a situation like that. maybe I won’t ever be (hopefully). the important thing is to recognize it. recognize how lucky we are.
so what I really want to do is to thank the 3 Wise Men for everything they ever gave to me. they didn’t need to, I already had everything.