So I’m not that type?

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“You don’t seem like that type of person.” — I get that a lot.

As a kid/teen, I was told that I wasn’t the athletic type. So, I joined ballet, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, cheer and track. Then I was told I wasn’t the outgoing type. I joined musical theater, drama, choir and jazz band.

The BTS pee-wee cheer squad. I’m at front and center. I was totes proud to be a cheerleader.

Fast-forward to my early 20's. People said I wasn’t ~the type~ to say “shit” or eat a big ass burrito the size of my arm. (Seriously, Rafas in El Paso is ridiculously good.) Yeah, I curate my outfits on the reg. I like lipstick, heels and paint my nails but I also like to run around barefoot, go garage sale hunting and gorge myself on Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and doughnuts, too. How could I not?

“You don’t seem like the type to write news.”

I chose journalism as my major because (flashback) I was the kid who would scribble notes in her diary every day. And I do mean every day. The guilt that would overwhelm me if I forgot was intense. I wrote my observations of the day’s events, peppered in with thoughts on the boys I liked. I’d report back on drama or triumphs and write what happened when.

This is the March 10 issue of the University Daily Kansan. At the time I was the editor-in-chief.

(Flash forward) As a student journalist at the University, I was mesmerized by the group dynamics, the work flow and the responsibility. I am the oldest sibling of three so the weight of being responsible was a familiar tool for me to carry. It wields power and requires care.

This leads me to why I chose art history as my minor. So much of history is written but artists share their perspectives and experiences in novel, expressive ways. Art can connect with a moment in history. Sometimes those moments were in the news but a crucial voice was left out. I want to fuse news and art together. I want to use each of these disciplines to bridge the voiceless gap. I hope to tell the stories of today and uncover stories from yesterday.

But not everyone drew that connection.

I recall the day I was questioned about my choice to go into the news industry. I was being second-guessed about my choice of study, my expertise and keenness to current events. Well, I can flex art history and news muscles too. My studies in art history and analysis help me wrap my mind around social and political issues. My journalism training helps me sort through and organize the pieces of an article to report fairly and accurately. I am both a copy editor and a reporter. I am both creative and analytic. There is a method to my madness, a rhythm to my song. It’s my journey and I’m sticking to it.

I’m no “type.” I’m Vicky.

I’m petite, 4'11" to be exact. I’m a half Mexican-half Puerto Rican woman. I studied journalism — with a focus on news — and art history. I worked a full-time job for three years after high school. I decided to attend college when I was 23 years old. I was born in California, raised in Texas and live in Kansas. My mom was a horse jockey. My grandpa an army doctor. My grandma an M.D. who decided to become a florist. I’ve lived in a trailer, a cabin and suburban home.

I’ve felt the pangs of being the child tangled in a divorce. But I have also experienced the joys of a sturdy marriage—my own and my grandparents’. I’m sensitive but strong. I’m shy sometimes and require a little coaxing. I like to dance but I need to warm up to the environment first. Same goes for new friends. The list goes on.

There are many more facts that most people never dig up because of one comment: “You don’t seem like the type.”

So the next time someone thinks of saying that, read the above. — V

Me, 2016.