As a proud Afro-Latina, I have struggled my entire life with self-identification, especially within a Black & White construct. As the child of Latin American immigrants — I’ve always known my ethnic roots to be my truth, a descent of the Garifuna people, a rich lineage and history I was taught to celebrate and own as I learned to hum the songs played at family gatherings.
As I got older and grew to understand the practicality of having an easy-to-understand “label” for social classification, I immediately adopted ‘Afro-Latina’, a slightly and neater title that encompasses my Latin American origin but pays tribute to my Afro roots, especially when you consider the African infusion and impact throughout Latin America — a reality that should need no reminding but seems to need it every so often. …
After being overwhelmed by the hours of images and videos from protests and demonstrations across the U.S., I woke up hoping that they would be enough to prompt the POTUS to communicate what he should be talking about now — messages of peace, sympathy and positivity as we wade through very challenging times. Instead, after days of marching and even violence in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Seattle we’re still met with his dismissal, and no support to help with the needed healing.
It’s that insensitivity that only serves to further motivate passionate protestors in search of answers or change, and provide more moments for opportunist looters that are diluting the peaceful demonstrations happening across the country and even around the world. That all said, let’s be very clear of all the things at…
Living through a global crisis like the one we’re going through, or even the experience of a personal trauma is bound spark bigger personal life questions. While it may feel like your world been flipped upside down, using a life-changing event is bound to have its benefits — teachable ones. To navigate and learn, I started to break down my thoughts and feelings by asking myself the questions good journalists and problem-solvers ask:
It’s been said many times, but it bears repeating. These are crazy, uncertain times. And, with the coronavirus numbers climbing daily, it’s also a reason for genuine concern. That said, it doesn’t make it any less sad that overnight, we’ve transformed from living care-free to afraid of people in our airspace.
I’m also convinced that after this is over, the way we live will remain a little strange, even if for a while. Some of the everyday things that I already miss and will reconsider differently:
When I suffered a stroke a couple of years ago, I was convinced that period in my life was going to be it for me. After all, even though I was fortunate to survive, it was still going to require intensive therapy and of course, discovering what my new normal was going to be.
The road to better took a while, but in time, I found my new level of balance by listening to my body, learning from my journey and ultimately being kind of myself.
After coming through that period and now stepping into the midst of a pandemic, I find myself again trying to figure out what my new normal looks like. That said, to navigate this new normal, I’m focusing on embracing a handful of lessons that were always logical, but suddenly seem essential right about now. …
Sometimes is takes one single moment to force change
Over a couple of years ago, I woke up with a headache that I didn’t realize would change my life. At that time, it was a nuisance slowing me down, making it impossible for me to function in my little universe. But, by the end of the night, I learned that this throbbing pain was a loud signal that something was really wrong as doctors revealed that I’d had a stroke.
Fast forward to that present and I’ve started to let go of the anger and even stopped punishing myself for being so annoyed back then. Instead of indulging those feelings, I’ve started channeling my energy into figuring out how I was going to use this event to learn and grow as a person. The way I see it, if I was able to get through the experience, there had to be something that I can take away from it. …