"When we give love, real love-not the emotional exchange of I will give you what you want if you give me what I want, but genuine care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust-it can serve as the seductive catalyst for change." - bell hooks
Change with the seasons. Take your cue from the leaves when autumn consumes summer. Fall without purpose and see where you land. Do not place too much meaning on the act of falling. Do not read something in to it. Sometimes it is just necessary. It is not the falling that counts, after all, it is what you do next.
Stop writing poems about loneliness. Gather every piece of paper chaotic with emotion, and put them all in a box under your bed. Name the box ‘This Is How Far I Have Come’ and let it gather dust. The day that you discover it again, you will probably struggle to remember those months of tears and green tea, when all you wanted was to un-stitch your graceless heart from your sleeve and lock it in Cinderella’s tower where it could no longer get you in trouble.
Sleep in till 11:21am and drink coffee and write poetry ideas on the unpainted piece of wall beside your bed. Buy the most expensive lipstick you can find and spend the next month eating budget ready meals and drinking cheap vodka with your friends. Light a candle for yourself once a month and when you blow it out before you get into to bed, look up at the moon and thank her for teaching you the value in rising. Thank her for the lessons she has given you in how to shine when the only thing around you is darkness.
Pack a small bag: notebook, money, lipstick; and jump on the first train you see. Take in the unconcerned passengers around you. They do not think you are broken. Get off at a station with a pretty sounding name, like Honeybourne. Explore every inch of it. Eat in their cafés and write poetry about completeness while you sip coffee. Walk down quiet streets and run your fingers through fallen leaves. You understand them now. Stand underneath the branches of the most gnarled tree you can find and tell yourself ‘He is not here. The people in these houses have never heard of him and they are okay. It is possible to not know him and be able to breathe without it hurting.’”
"My dream is that you will never let no man, no one tell you…you cannot do some things because you are a woman, Latina, be willing to overcome obstacles and take risks. I spent too much time being scared to do something different"- My Mama
Dedicated to Michelle, Connie, & Beatrice
I am part of a continuum of women everywhere fighting, loving, and working to create a vision of a world radically different than the present.
My story is not just mine. It is the story of generations of strong Latinas, Tejanas, and Chicanas who sought better living conditions for their children and families. I am humbled to be in a position in which I have the opportunity and potential to follow my life path. This path is far greater than my own. It is the compilation of the lives, dreams, and struggles of my mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers.
I recognize that I am standing on the shoulders of these amazing women and it has provided me with the drive to push myself and continually guides me when I am lost.
Women are powerful. And often at times we are conditioned to not embrace it. I myself, have on countless occasions have shy away because of the negative association with power that is the dominant narrative. Yet, power can be used to dismantle the very inequalities that ravage our society.
We have the ability to carry life, nurture, and heal nations.
I have My strength, My vision, My passion, My kindness and My hope because of the strong women in my life.