But the meeting left me crushed. My only solution, the lawyer said, would be to return to the Philippines and accept a 10-year ban before I could apply to come back legally.
If Rich was discouraged, it was hidden by him well. “Put this problem on a shelf,” he told me. “Compartmentalize it. Keep going.”
The license meant everything in my opinion me drive, fly and work— it would let. But my grandparents worried about the Portland trip plus the Washington internship. While Lola offered daily prayers so that i was dreaming too big, risking too much that I would not get caught, Lolo told me.
I became determined to pursue my ambitions. I was 22, I told them, in charge of my own actions. But this is different from Lolo’s driving a confused teenager to Kinko’s. I knew the things I was doing now, and I knew it wasn’t right. But what was I supposed to do?
At the D.M.V. in Portland, I arrived with my photocopied Social Security card, my college I.D., a pay stub from The san francisco bay area Chronicle and my proof of state residence — the letters to your Portland address that my support network had sent. It worked. My license, issued in 2003, was set to expire eight years later, back at my 30th birthday, on Feb. 3, 2011. I had eight years to ensure success professionally, and also to hope that some type of immigration reform would pass within the meantime and permit us to stay.
It seemed like all the right amount of time in the entire world.
My summer in Washington was exhilarating. I happened to be intimidated to be in a newsroom that is major was assigned a mentor — Peter Perl, a veteran magazine writer — to help me navigate it. 2-3 weeks into the internship, he printed out one of my articles, about a man who recovered a wallet that is long-lost circled the initial two paragraphs and left it back at my desk. “Great eye for details — awesome!” he wrote. Though i did son’t know it then, Peter would become yet another person in my network.
During the end regarding the summer, I returned to The san francisco bay area Chronicle. My plan would be to finish school — I happened to be now a— that is senior I worked for The Chronicle as a reporter for the city desk. Nevertheless when The Post beckoned again, offering me a full-time, two-year paid internship I graduated in June 2004, it was too tempting to pass up that I could start when. I moved back into Washington.
About four months into my job as a reporter for The Post, I began feeling increasingly paranoid, as if I had “illegal immigrant” tattooed to my forehead — and in Washington, of most places, where the debates over immigration seemed never-ending. I became so eager to prove myself I was annoying some colleagues and editors — and worried that any one of these professional journalists could discover my secret that I feared. The anxiety was nearly paralyzing. I decided I experienced to tell among the higher-ups about my situation. I looked to Peter.
By this time around, Peter, who still works during the Post, had become section of management while the paper’s director of newsroom training and development that is professional. One in late October, we walked a couple of blocks to Lafayette Square, across from the White House afternoon. The driver’s license, Pat and Rich, my family over some 20 minutes, sitting on a bench, I told him everything: the Social Security card.
It was an odd sort of dance: I was attempting to stand out in an extremely competitive newsroom, yet I was terrified that if I stood out a lot of, I’d invite unwanted scrutiny. I tried to compartmentalize my fears, distract myself by reporting in the lives of other folks, but there clearly was no escaping the conflict that is central my life. Maintaining a deception for so long distorts your sense of self. You begin wondering who you’ve become, and just why.