My name is Kaelan Andrade. I was born in New Rochelle, New York in March of 1996. I was born to a wild Brazilian mother and a composed Peruvian father. Although my parents divorced when I was 7 years old, I was fortunate to have learned both Portuguese and Spanish. I believe that it was my exposure to my culture that allowed me to fall madly in love with language. I was completely surrounded by first generation immigrants and as a result I had a strong desire to read and excel in all three languages. As a two year old, I wanted to learn how to read and write cursive so badly that I would leave heaps of copy paper with what I thought of as my beautiful “calligraphy” all over the family office. When my sister would ask me to translate what the scribbles meant, I would make up elaborate stories to satisfy her requests. I wanted to learn. I wanted to be up to par with everyone who spoke multiple languages around me.
As a result of my parents’ divorce, I ended up moving a lot. From New York to Connecticut, from Connecticut to Florida, and then back to New York—here I am! However, despite all of the different states that I consider home, a few things that have remained the same are my love for writing and my love for people. I always found solidarity in different cultures because they expose you to new things. When I lived in Florida (at age 12) I became best friends with a girl named Noah who was from Israel. Although we had different backgrounds, we connected because of our interest in writing through our yearbook class. She kept a journal and encouraged me to pass it back and forth with her. Writing to one another became cathartic. We vented and responded to each other’s daily stresses. Our writing was so honest that I kept the journal when I moved, and held it close to my heart ever since. Noah introduced me to my true passion for writing. She showed me that despite our different cultures, we could connect on an emotional and mental level. There is nothing I value more than our friendship despite now being 1,500 miles away from each other.
This passion for words and communication has pushed me to become an English major. As a result, I am writing this blog for all of you through the Binghamton Poetry Project internship program, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
Today, I’d like for you all to explore your passions. What do you adore to do? What led you to discover what you are passionate about? How do your passions play a role in your life today? Share your stories in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you all.
I wish you all the best week ahead. Can’t wait to write to you again.