Kevin Almaguer

Part of my childhood was spent growing up about 45 minutes from the beach city I was born in, the other was spent in the pine infested state of Georgia. The only thing they both have in common besides the heat is that I never chose to be there. Most of my life was in a way planned out for me, even if it was in the most chaotic and unorganized way. I grew up with my two younger siblings, numerous amounts of pets, my mom, and I’m choosing to leave out any single type of father figure. If only for the fact that explaining the situation would take too long and this is supposed to be about me. I learned English later than most because as soon as I was born my mom packed up her things and took us to live in Mexico to be closer to family. So, when I finally did return around the age of seven or eight, I had to fight to keep every part of my culture and language that I was allowed. The school systems were less kind to bilingual kids when I was younger, and like I mentioned before I moved around a lot, leaving me with only vague memories of people each time we did. Life was okay. I by nature was a difficult child but I’d like to think I made it out alive for one reason only, to write. There is no other option for me. I’ve never felt more alive and freer than when writing, and I know it’s what I need to be doing, even on the days when my apathy sinks me to my bed. I found out pretty early in life that being gay wasn’t too excepted in my communities, that and because of the “fathers” I will not name I developed a handful of mental health struggles. These I will not get into because I have learned to live with them, tame them, guide them. Even in my hardest moments I remind myself I have lived through worse. I expect and want no sympathy, my life was what is has been but I like to remind myself of one simple phrase. I say it over and over you see, especially on the nights when I can’t sleep. “If not me then who? If not now than when?” The origins of this saying always get lost on me but it’s the mantra that keeps me from feeling sorry for myself. Life simple is, and I’m going to fight until I make it what I want it to be.

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