On August 1st of the year 2000, a barely alive Cindy Rodrigues was brought into the United States, New York to be exact. I grew up in Queens, the most diverse, hardworking, and ambitious borough of NYC. I went to school with people just like me, but not really because I always fell in the middle. My fellow Bangladeshi people thought I was Latino, whereas Latinos thought I was faking my last name. Thus, started my fear of crowds, public speaking, participating in anything and ultimately growing up with severe anxiety. To the point where, as an adult I would order my Dunkin coffee on the app to avoid speaking to anyone. I’d then proceed to panic in my car because I’d have to walk in and grab my drink in front of everyone. What a way to live am I right?
I went through a lot of phases in my life in terms of career and aspirations. My parents are hardworking immigrants who moved to this country for a better future, basically the whole spiel. You know it, I know it. As the honorary black sheep of the family, I did not become a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or lawyer that I was bred to be. Instead, I struggled with figuring out my passion until a literal global pandemic came rushing in. I was locked in my house with my very sick mother, two teenage siblings and a father trying to handle this overwhelming situation. During the first few months of Covid, my mother was one of the first personal cases we were dealing with. We really thought she was going to pass away. Thankfully, she charged through this illness. Anyways, I was locked up in my house, also working at Walgreens at the time, which was next to a hospital that literally had dead bodies outside because they ran out of room. I would write and write my days away. I do not like talking about my feelings ever, with anyone. So, I revert to writing them. My dark humor and rough upbringing definitely adds a lot of soul to my poetry. Oh, did I mention I write poetry? I currently work at a High School in Queens for students who are on the autism spectrum. I absolutely adore them; they’re one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I wanted to share my love for writing so a colleague and I decided to start a writing club. We teach the students how to use their creativity and put it into words; some of them even publish on WATTPAD. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to help any students who may be struggling like I did, and also for the students to know that they are never alone.
Now here we are, at the end of my first blog post. This was truly a hard one because talking about myself is something I despise doing; I never know where to start. I always think no one really cares and my life is not that interesting. Although, I am excited to come back to this post when I am a published poet, teaching my Intro to Creative Writing course with all of my anxious students. I will share this post with them, as I did with my High Schoolers and once again show them that they are not alone. I just hope whoever reads this post understands that not all people are shy and mysterious. Some people truly cannot make the words to participate and initiate conversations. Not all people have the social battery to keep engaging and making sure everyone is entertained. But at the end of the day, we do have thoughts to share. We just might need a pen and paper, and an empty room.