It takes 365 days for the Earth to complete its orbit around the sun. Today signifies the completion of your first revolution. The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is 92.96 million miles. The average distance between a dream and its manifestation is the number of times your knees have bled while clinging to the ground in prayer. You are my greatest prayer manifested in human form and for the rest of my life I will remember this moment, and be grateful that you chose me to be the vessel to bring you into this world. Continue reading A Mother’s Letter to Her Daughter on Her 1st Birthday (for Alexah)
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. Most of us want it all, but many women struggle with the idea of having it all and often find themselves having to choose between having a happy fulfilled family life and having an equally thriving career. As a woman who has both, I don’t subscribe to the notion that … Continue reading The Mamí Chronicles: Family, Career, & Personal Fulfillment- How to juggle it all
History, traditions, & culture are passed on and it is up to us to make sure that we honor that history and that we preserve it, while simultaneously adding to it so that we leave to our children a legacy they can be proud of. So when I think about what makes me Latina I can’t narrow it down to one thing or to a few things. I am a Latina by how I love and the way I live my life, by the examples set by my family, by fulfilling the expectations of my ancestors and those who came before me. I attribute my latinidad and my desire to help others with the love of family that was instilled in me as a child. You always look out for your family. That’s what I was taught and that is what I exhibit. I want each and every one of us to succeed. If I can help another person succeed, even if it’s in a small way, I will.
My family showed me by their example how wonderful and magnificent life is. They taught me to be orgullosa of my Puerto Rican heritage while simultaneously teaching me to love everything that this great country of ours has to offer. They taught me to love America and value its lesson that great things can be achieved if one works hard for it; with the understanding that success for Latinos or Latinas, or any minority for that matter, doesn’t come easy. We have to work twice as hard and although that struggle did not and does not create a Latina identity, it does inspire how I live my life. I’ve learned that, pride is instilled. It is what you carry with you every day of your life. This is what I hope to pass down to my daughter and future generations. Continue reading Hispanic Heritage Month: On being Latina & how family shapes who we are
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ― Franz Kafka Continue reading My week at VONA (June 22 – June 28 2014)
Everyone warns you that marriage isn’t easy, but when you’re in the romantic stage of love that’s the farthest thing from your mind. You’re not thinking about how he calls his mother two to three times a day to “check in” which at the time you think is cute, but will make you turn into a raging lunatic reminiscent of the Exorcist foaming at the mouth and head spinning, five years down the road. Or how your ambitious go-getter attitude and dedicated work ethic that he initially found so sexy turns into resentment and jealousy later on. Or how opening a joint bank account turns into the Spanish Inquisition whenever you spend or withdraw money. There are so many things that factor into a marriage, many of which you have no clue about until you are in the throes of it. Continue reading One thing I know for sure, marriage is hard!
I’d wake from my sleep and find her in her room standing in her crib, eyes wide open and full of tears. When I’d reach out to hold her or console her the screaming and crying got worse. It was as if she’d seen a monster and I was it. It was the most terrifying thing I’d ever experienced. As her mother, my first instinct was to try and soothe her, but everything I did just made it worse. Continue reading (The Mamí Chronicles) Night Terrors, Toddlers, & What you should know
A while ago in a writing workshop I was asked what my origin story is. Initially I didn’t have an answer. After giving it some thought, I realized everything I witnessed as a child has influenced my writing. My desire to write comes from the things I wished my grandmother, my mother, even I would have said all those times we conceded to our husbands. I realized that I write so that I never lose my voice or power. I write so that my daughter does not repeat the cycle. Continue reading Traditional gender roles, marriage, and the reason I write
It has been two years since my daughter was born and every night while putting her to sleep I think about the person she will one day become. I think about the daunting task parents have in raising confident, kind, and productive members of society. I sit in her dark bedroom and also think about the challenges she will one day face and my heart … Continue reading The advice I wish someone would have given me as a kid
July 27, 2014 Today is your birthday. There was no big party this year just a small and intimate celebration with your grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. We spent it with the people who love and care for you most. As I sit in your dark bedroom rocking you to sleep, your tiny hands hang flaccidly against your side as you nestle your body … Continue reading The Mamí Chronicles: A letter to my daughter on her 2nd birthday (July 27, 2014)
On June 28th, immediately after the completion of my Voices of Our Nations Arts (VONA) workshop at UC Berkeley I boarded a plane to Las Vegas for the American Library Association Book Conference and the 2014 International Latino Awards where I would be signing copies and attending an awards ceremony for my award winning book, Letters to My Daughter. I was not prepared for the 105 degree heat … Continue reading The ALA Book Conference & 2014 International Latino Book Awards