Portrait Project


Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Lisandra Rickards

I'm in love with my island. I am inspired there, I know the people there, I want to raise a family there, I want to make a difference there.

But life is hard there. An atmosphere of discontent hovers after decades of dashed hopes — leaving anger and violence in its wake. Growth is an illusion we cling to desperately but have never realized. Should I make a lifetime investment in a country that may very well decline over my lifetime?

And yet if I don't go back, I would be giving up so much. I would miss living in a place where life is not defined by work but by the abandon with which we live. A place where we can pack ten close friends into a villa on the coast to dance, laugh and drink some Appleton as we watch the sun set over the impossibly flat turquoise sea. I would miss the color, the sun, the unabashed displays of exuberance because who cares what's going on in the world, we are together aren't we? I love that life, I'm just not sure that it is enough.

So it is difficult to decide to move back to a small island after having a universe of possibilities lain at my feet by this school. Will I feel trapped in Jamaica? Will I feel limited? Will I become so disillusioned that I resent my decision? Or will I build something with my mind and my hands that shows the world that not only was I able, but I achieved something great.

— Lisandra Rickards