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…
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.
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…
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.
A.K.A. Jenina N. Communicator, content creator, blogger, podcaster.