The People in My Life

My project is about my Dominican family living in the Bronx. Most of us were born in Dominican Republic. I am one of them, unlike my sister who was born here in the United States. In my family we share different skin tones and some of us are mixed race. My family is always there for one another, it doesn’t matter if we’re related by marriage or by blood. We all treat each other with respect. 

I have been living in the Bronx for close to five years now. But I also came here often when I was younger to visit family that had already been living here. Most of them were raised here in the Bronx. I know that people who don’t live here think of the Bronx as an unsafe place, and I want to show them the bright side of the Bronx through photos of my family. Even though the Bronx can be unsafe at times and it can be very weird, it also has meaning to it. I want to show them how beautiful the Bronx can be through the people who live here.

This is my beautiful mother. She is my number one best friend. She is so amazing. I love her with all my heart. My mother has always been there for me. She always knows when something is wrong with me. I am always able to tell her when something is wrong, no matter how hard I try to hide it. She is always there for me on my best days and on my scariest days. Like the day I had surgery on my arm after breaking it for the second time or the day I had to take the pins out of my arm. I still remember the fear on her face as they were taking the pins out, and how she was crying. I think she was more scared than I was. My mom is the best cook, I love her food. It always leaves my tastebuds jumping. There are very few people who can make me truly smile and one of those people is my mom. Whenever I am near her I feel the need to smile, and it’s not a fake one either. I just always need to smile, that's how happy she makes me. I also love it when we play around. I know it’s not usual for people to playfully fight with their moms, but my mom and I are just playing around. It’s an inside joke. She knows that the disrespectful stuff I’m saying is just a joke. She knows I didn’t mean any of the words I said. But that's our thing and I love it.

This is my amazing godmother. She has watched me grow up. She is basically my second mom. I am the person who I am today because of her. If it weren’t for her I would be a totally different person. And I’m glad I’m not. She is also one of my best friends. I tell her everything. I am grateful for everything she has done for me. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be in this program. I love coming to her house with my sister and cousins. But it’s always best when it’s just me staying over at her house. I can be myself and do almost anything I want with her. 

This is my little cousin Melanie. She is 4 years old. I have known her since she was three months old. She has always been a bright ball of joy. She has so much energy. She never gets tired. I barely ever see her sleep, she has only slept once and that was when we were in the car she fell asleep in my arms. Other than that I never saw her fall asleep. She is always running around and screaming. She Is also such a nice girl, she is so nice to everyone. She gets very shy in front of strangers. But after a while she gets comfortable around them, kind of like me. She is also very intelligent. I love asking her questions, because I know she has the right answer. Sometimes I correct her, and sometimes it takes her awhile to answer but she's always thinking, and I think that's amazing. Because I’m always thinking. She is more open than me. But it’s okay she’s just a kid. I am also very open minded with her. I’m open minded with everyone. But I am always listening to her. Because I want her to be able to express her feelings to me and what's bothering her. I want her to know as she gets older that I am always there for her and I’m always listening.

This is my younger sister Stephanie. She is a very interesting person to be with. I love her, I truly do. But sometimes she can be very annoying. We don’t get along that much. We tend to argue a lot. But sometimes we do get along. I mean it’s normal for siblings to argue a lot, a lot of them don’t get along. We are just one of those siblings. But we do protect and defend each other. I always tell her my secrets and she tells me hers. We also laugh together a lot. Our family sees us as two people who will never get along. But for us it’s different, it’s complicated. We honestly don’t know. You can ask her and she will probably give you an answer, but she would be lying because she wouldn’t know what to say. I can’t blame her, I do the same thing. But I know my sister goes through a lot of things. I see it, and I hear it. But sometimes I just can’t bring myself to feel anything because I allow my anger to take over. It’s not like I lash out at her. It’s just the anger I have for the stuff that she does to me takes control, and I just don’t feel bad for her. But there’s always two sides of the story when there’s a situation. But I know a lot of good will come to her, and hopefully we will be able to have a normal relationship, or maybe not but different is good.

My little cousin Stella has been trying very hard to become a photographer. My godmother thinks it’s because of me. But she takes pictures of everything and everyone. I love how she brings her camera everywhere. She just walks around taking pictures of everyone and self portraits. I think she will grow up to be an amazing photographer.

When COVID started, I was 13 years old and in the 7th grade. My last day of being in the school was on March 13, 2020. After that we started online classes on Zoom. It was very confusing, all of our work had to be through our electronics. It was kind of weird since our parents are always telling us to get off our electronics, now we need it for our education. 

2020 wasn’t that bad for me though, I know it was very bad for other people though. Some people lost their jobs, lost money, food, and so much more. It was stressful for people to work at home. But personally, I really liked staying home, I don’t like talking to people that much. I like to be alone and talk to people I’m close with. I played Roblox a lot, and I mean a lot. But I made online friends and they were so fun to play with. They made the games exciting. I also watched anime. I didn’t watch that much anime as I hoped for but I still watched anime. Because anime is the best! I also had some trouble with school but I got through it. Summer time was fun. The only time I left my house was to go to my Godmother’s house. I slept over there a lot. My other aunt would come over too with her kids, or we would go to her house. We also went to Kalahari. It was so much fun, the water coasters and the zip lining was the best part. Also the food. 

In September we started school again, it was pretty awkward seeing everyone again, but it was also nice because we all got in contact again. My birthday is also in September, on Monday the 28th. Sadly I had class that day, but it was still good. On Saturday I was able to celebrate it with my closest friends. We went to this boba ice cream shop downtown, and then bought pizza near Central Park. That’s a day I will never forget. Thanksgiving was so fun, we had awesome food. Christmas was also fun, we opened presents at around 3am and the rest of the day we watched movies. Then school started again. Not so fun, but we gotta do it. Easter was also very fun. Just chilling at my godmother’s house is always the best, especially for holidays. I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings me, because 2020 was way better than 2021.

This is my grandmother. She is so nice and amazing. This was taken on her birthday. She loves to play dominos, it's her favorite game. She taught me how to play, even though I don't play anymore. My grandmother is super nice to everyone. It doesn't matter who you are, she will be super friendly to you. She is always willing to do stuff for me and her other grandkids. We honestly don't deserve her. She just does so much for us it's hard to put in words. I wish her the best of luck in everything she does because she deserves it.

This dog is Aladdin. He is so calm and chill. He also reminds me of myself. I’ve known Aladdin for 4 years. He is such an emotional dog too, but it's cute. I think he reminds me of myself because I am a very calm person. I like to lay in bed and be lazy. But I also like to be active. Just like he does, whenever someone is eating or when it's time to go on walks. But he is also very loving towards the ones he loves, and new people.

Now this is Luna. She is the opposite of Aladdin. She is very hyperactive, full of spirit, and crazy. I mean she’s still a baby so I can see why. But she just loves to play no matter how tired she is. She will jump around no matter what. You know she’s tired or bored when she goes to my godmother's room to lay down. She reminds me of myself because she is just like me when I am around people I’m comfortable with. Around my best friends and certain family members. It’s not always my best friends, it's also with people I’m close with or people I get a good vibe from. But around other dogs or people she doesn’t like she is very defensive. Just like me except I don’t show it the way she does. But overall she is an amazing dog!

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