The last four Septembers I’ve walked into Hispanic Heritage Month with a deep appreciation for my Latinidad and a family that has slowly begun to understand the nature of my work.

Wethos
Wethos
Sep 5, 2018 · 3 min read

This article was written for Wethos Co by featured writer Vivian Nunez

The last four Septembers I’ve walked into Hispanic Heritage Month with a deep appreciation for my Latinidad and a family that has slowly begun to understand the nature of my work.

The process of getting to this point has been everything but easy — I am four years into being self-employed and some days I still get questions about when I’ll get a traditional job. Nonetheless, there are moments that remind me why I pushed through the harder days.

For instance, a few months ago my uncle made a very informed comment on how someone who is depressed doesn’t have to look any specific kind of way. As the founder of a website that serves as a community and resource for young adults who have lost someone they love and also someone who uses her Instagram as a platform for mental health advocacy, my uncle’s comment was a big win for me. It was four years of speaking openly about my own mental wellness journey and the nature of my career finally manifesting itself into a way of knowing that my family somewhat gets what I do for a living.

The emotional toll of not having your family’s support as you pursue your passions is honestly not quantifiable. When you grow up in a Latinx family where every cousin is a sibling, it’s less friction and more literal heartbreak when they question why you didn’t pursue a more traditional career.

I deal with it the way that I’m sure many Latinx entrepreneurs or self-employed creatives do — I keep doing what I love and remind myself that they aren’t coming from a place of malice, but instead from a place of fear.

I taught myself to not be afraid to take up space and by doing so I teach them to not be afraid for me. My family wants to know that I will be financially stable, so I show proof of concept. I make it a point to talk about the projects I’m working on and how excited I am to be working on them. I invite my family into my career because it’s harder to be afraid of something you know.

Every September I’m reminded of how, no matter their reluctance, the only reason that I’m able to pursue the career of my dreams and to risk so happily is because of all the risks my grandparents made when coming from Ecuador to New York City. Gratitude helps make it easier to deal with any friction that’s born from being self-employed and being Latina because in more ways than one, my grandparents were the first entrepreneurs I ever met.

The harder days of my self-employment have been some of the lowest days of feeling like I have to justify my career to my family. There’s a lesson to be learned from those moments though — without intending to, my family became the training ground where I learned to confidently speak about my career. They are the reason why I know to start projects and trust my intuition when I do so. It’s not always easy to navigate the cultural nuances but it’s the best reward when I do.


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