We all have secrets, things we may not be proud of, things we keep to ourselves because we don’t want to risk hurting someone we love. In Latino culture we are taught from a very early age not to air our dirty laundry. Los trapos sucios se lavan en casa. We are never to discuss in public that which happens behind closed doors even … Continue reading The Stories That Bind Us: How do we tell our stories without telling the stories of others?
The red stain on my underwear pierced my eyes. It was the one thing I had not envisioned, yet here I was living my worst nightmare. I’ve never experienced this before so I don’t know what to expect. Yesterday there was a light stain and today too. Everything that I’ve read says that I should be experiencing cramping and that the blood will come in clots. Chunks of my deepest desire flowing through me like a poison releasing itself from my body. That’s what a miscarriage is. It is an abnormality in the fetus. The chromosomes didn’t split properly. Proof that what I believed was my miracle really wasn’t. Continue reading Overcoming Setbacks: Dealing with loss and how we recover
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
*The following essay was originally published on MUTHA Magazine* I haven’t always had the best relationship with my mother. There were times when I felt like I hated her; despised her even. There were times when I needed her and she wasn’t there. Times when I wanted her to fight for my sister and me, but instead she chose herself. My father says that we … Continue reading NOT MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER: On mothering and changing my legacy
How did I manage to accomplish what I set out to do in the beginning of the year? I set goals and stayed focused. When you set goals instead of resolutions you give yourself a better a chance of completing and attaining the goal. Goals unlike resolutions can be broken down into smaller goals. You can set deadlines and identify potential roadblocks. Resolutions are just arbitrary statements that people make with no clear idea or game plan as to how to make it happen. Continue reading 2014 Year in Review: Goals, Resolutions, & Making sh*t happen
Literary and cultural movements are often borne as a response to what is occurring in the world around us. Literature and the arts in general are constantly evolving as new movements emerge and speak to the concerns of different groups of people and time periods. Often, our political and social landscape influences art, but most specifically it influences the artist. For the artist the art … Continue reading On Race, Injustice, and Literary Movements
The other day as I was preparing dinner I asked my husband what he thought about the recent rape allegations that have resurfaced about Bill Cosby. His response was eerily similar to the responses I have heard come from other men.
“If these women were raped why are they talking about it now? Why did they wait so long to come forward?” he said.
“Is that really your response?”, I replied. “What if it was your daughter, who years after being raped or assaulted broke her silence and finally decided to talk about what happened to her, would you still have the same response? Does the length of time it takes a person to break their silence make their claims invalid?” He remained quiet. Continue reading On Bill Cosby, Rape, and why some men just don’t get it
Music lyrics often talk about how great love is and it is great, most of the time. Sometimes external influences will blind us into believing that if our relationships aren’t like those detailed in the songs or movies then it isn’t love. No one ever tells you that you can fall in and out of love with the same person, or that romance is something you have to work at every single day of your marriage. The stresses of everyday life can become burdensome on a relationship and when there’s bills to pay, children to take care of, and work to do it can leave you feeling exhausted, unappreciated, and even resentful causing one to feel as if they want out of that loving relationship they were once in. Continue reading How Cancer Saved My Marriage
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