“Limit your Limiting Beliefs” © Jury S. Judge
As an immigrant living in a foreign place I felt unwelcomed. Not only had I been living with people I considered strangers, I was also shocked by the culture, values and people in my new surroundings. The feeling of being isolated and alone, like a stranger in a foreign place with no lifeline became an everyday occurrence. It felt as if I was drowning and suffocating-misunderstood and in pain. The constant reminder of being different from everyone else caused me to retreat inside of myself. Seeking an escape, I invested my energy into reading fictional stories and poems.
As years continued to pass by, I developed a sense of escape through my own writing. The very first poem I ever wrote was at the age of 10, and was entitled “Why (a poem to God).” This poem was a series of questions to God asking Him why He allowed me to move, to leave my perfect life in my country, and allowed me to be tormented.
As I was writing this poem, I recalled the many near death experiences I had as a child and told God that He should have allowed me to die instead. As a child a part of me always felt the need for church and religion, it was my faith in God that held my sanity in check and gave me the strength to resist suicide. Following my first poem, I started to write other poems, which were all essentially letters to God asking questions.
I was alone: in a foreign place, living with strangers, speaking a different language and in a completely different settings. Gone were there days when I would venture the wild with my friends or go to the river to swim. I could no longer hear the cuckoos of chicken and roosters, nor feel the warmth of the wind upon my face as I sat in the window enjoying the breeze as it danced across my face. After school my friends and I would be playing soccer or softball on the road, but in my new realty this did not exist. No, what greeted me each day was the sound of cars and the noise of the city life, music unfamiliar to me being blasted from cars and houses. The cold reality that faced me and tore me apart each day was that I would never live that carefree and innocent life again. My family would be miles away and I would have no one to talk to in my native dialect. My only reprieve would be reading and writing. My imagination would become both crippling and my reason for living.
The more I struggled with reality, the more invested in my poems I became. Poetry was my only outlet, my only way to express myself and the only thing that kept me grounded; as long as I had something to write with and something to write on- I was okay. Literature was the answer I found as it provided an outlet to express myself. I could read other people’s pain and struggle, could relate to other people who experienced and felt the same way as me and more than anything, I could find a place to belong. Although not physically, literature took me to places reality never could. To this day, reading and writing is the biggest part of my life.
Tricia Robateau is an immigrant who came to the United States at a young age. Moving from a third-world country surrounded by nature to Atlanta Georgia was a huge shock. Different cultures and experiences caused a huge psychological change. In order to survive her new reality, reading fictional stories and poetry while writing her own has allowed her to embrace a side she never knew.
Jury S. Judge is an internationally published artist, writer, poet, and cartoonist. Her “Astronomy Comedy” cartoons are published in Lowell Observatory’s quarterly publication, The Lowell Observer. She has been interviewed on the television news program, ‘NAZ Today’ for her work as a political cartoonist. Her artwork has been widely featured in over one hundred and twenty five literary magazines such as, Blue Mesa Review, The Tishman Review, Blue Moon Review, and The Ignatian Literary Journal. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2014.