I came to America almost three years ago with a dream.
I want to make movies, understand them. Write them. So I chose the place where movies are born. But this decision was beyond my professional aspirations. I wanted to find out who I really was. I wanted to take risks. I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to discover what I'm capable of when I'm away from my friends or family's help. Who I am as an individual. What I really feel, what I really believe in.
And I found it. I found myself in California. I found who I am as a person, and I confirmed the endless love I have for my profession.
But I also found something I didn't expect to find. I became part of a community where everyone matters, and where the word impossible does not exist.
In my class, there were only two Americans. There were Russians and Australians, and in the academy halls there were more Mexicans, and Colombians, and Indians, and Chinese and South Africans. People from all around the world. We shared our culture, we worked together. We never made fun of someone's broken english or accent. We helped each other improve.
But that wasn't something I would only see in school.
My Lyft and Uber drivers were Argentinian, Pakistani, Canadian, and Chilean. The owners from restaurants where I used to eat were Japanese, Brazilian, British, and Italian. And, of course: American.
I never felt excluded. Never in my three years did I encounter racism. I was prepared to be subject of racist comments. Never happened. Not once.
People wanted to know more about my culture. And it turned out that they loved my country. More than some Mexicans love Mexico, I was impressed to find out how much an American could love Mexico. They knew about our history. They acknowledged our people. Our successes. Mexico wasn't just Narcos to them. It was Frida Kahlo, and Amores Perros, and talented artists winning Oscars. The best food in the world, the best beaches.
And I realized: This is America. The place where people from all around the world come together to get the best out of each other… And this place is my home.
So, yes, on November 8, something shocking happened. Today feels like a nightmare and we wish we could wake up. And it is embarrassing and scary the fact that some people by voting (or by not voting) said: It's okay to laugh at someone's body, ew, who likes fat people? – Gosh, gays shouldn't get married, that's gross – But – We don't need consent from women, we can do whatever we want – I can avoid taxes – Fuck the constitution! – I don't care if you were raped, you're having that kid! – Walls, please.
I know we are disgusted and disappointed but we need to take a step back and think about why this happened.
Trump is not the problem. He is just the mirror. He is the device that helps us see something that already existed: hate.
Good people, the good people I know, did not vote for him, because love and humanity inhabits them. This man just came to wake up feelings of hatred that were already there. Before Trump, there were already sexual predators, bullies, people avoiding taxes, racists, sexists. So when someone equally damaged finally came to agree and share their inhuman thoughts and feelings, they were excited to vote for a guy that reflected who they are.
Yes. It's sad to realize there are so many people out there that think this way. And it's depressing to hear some people decided not to take action because: My vote doesn't count – I didn't have time – What's going to happen will happen anyway. These people deeply damaged their country. They damaged me. They damaged their trans neighbors. Their daughters. So I want to thank those who voted for the country and for the voiceless minorities. Thank you to my friends whose voice was mine, too.
But it is TODAY, when we have to choose love. And tomorrow, and everyday…
Let's choose love.
No, it's not cheesy and it's not idealistic. It's necessary.
Let's choose love because nobody was born with anger. The lack of love filled these people with hate. What happened yesterday is actually a desperate scream. The world is screaming for love.
Choose love. Choose love. Choose love.
Now it's time to drop out of school to go pursue your real dream. To quit the job you hate. To stop yourself before laughing at somebody's body and focus on the nice person she/he is. To let people talk and finish their sentence before interrupting even if you disagree with what they're saying. To listen. To say "have a good day" to your neighbor and really mean it. To talk to that friend you haven't talked to in years. To give an ice cream or a burger to a homeless person. To stop using social media to post about all those things we loathe. To use it more to share what makes us happy. To understand why people do what they do before judging them. To read. To study and be documented. To answer a message to someone who took their time to write you. To say I love you. To hug. To highlight the beauty of others. To create. To breathe before voicing mean thoughts.
It doesn't matter if someone deserves it, do it for you. Don't vomit hate. Don't let hate take over you. Embrace every emotion. If you're mad, go run, hike, choose a sport, sweat it all out. And yes, why not, yell and scream and cry at home with those you love. Get your anger out until it turns into something so ridiculous you can't stop laughing. And please, don't go to bed if you didn't do or say something you wanted to. "I really wanted that cupcake, but I'm on diet" – go eat that cupcake! – "I wanted to say –I miss you– to my friend, but I can't because we're mad and we're not talking" – go and say I miss you! Take responsibility for your own feelings and emotions.
Give. Others will decide what they do with what they receive. Let's always give. And don't let fear stop you.
Choose love. More than ever we need to choose love.
This blog was originally published on the author's website.