On my commute home last night from a 10 hour shift, and no real lunch break, I had to get off the train to pick up some fuel. With every heavy footstep reminding myself that the end is near. I was parched and light headed, and felt like I couldn’t make it home. I popped into Liquiteria ordered the hangover cure.
My friend Christine reminded me to breathe last week. She bore witness to my tension, my tears, my fears, and my current process of transformation. I shared the struggles I’ve been facing and how I terrified, feel the growth, and my awakening. The awakening feels difficult to put into words, but the most I can say is that the experience feels like being unaware that you’ve been asleep, and suddenly realizing you’ve been asleep, AND everything suddenly makes sense/connects.
I believe that everyone’s awakening is different, so what I’m feeling and becoming aware of, won’t be the same as yours. When I saw S.R.W’s work (hand written by artist Kaylie Wong) on IG it made my heart skip a beat.
“If winter has courage to turn into spring, who says I can’t bloom just the same?” S.R.W
I was thinking about how my journey has felt like an endless and tiring blizzard. No sun for warmth. A lack of nourishment. Aching bones. An overwhelming sadness. But the courage I’ve had throughout this journey has been my north star, leading to the start of my awakening. I can see my spring in the distance. Golden sun rising to my truth.
Write about an awakening or awareness you’ve experienced or are currently experiencing.
My life changed the day Tina Marie Dominguez invited me to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe to hear her read poetry. I heard her truth, strength, vulnerability, and resiliency. Her unapologetic truth was a seismic shock to my soul, and thus began my awakening in my own artistic journey and self-awareness. Head to her IG to read some of her poetry which explores topics such as motherhood, latinidad, body image, self-love, and more. Have I also mentioned she’s THE most stylish guerrera faerie? #kawaiiaf
Dominguez’s work has been featured in the following anthologies - which is available for purchase:
1) Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement and The Muse: An Anthology of Women Writers
2) Peinate: Hair Battles Between Latina Mothers & Daughters
Verbalizing and holding tight to our truth can be challenging when one has experienced trauma. I have experienced different forms of trauma in my life, which has prevented me to be unapologetic and stand by my truth. I can only speak about my experiences and myself and say that I’ve actively worked to get myself to this point. And what might work for me, might not work for you, but I would love to share just a few things that I’ve implemented in my life.
regularly seeing a therapist
surrounding myself with a tribe that cares for me
cutting toxic people from my life
celebrating the smallest milestone
taking safe risks (Starting this blog to speak my truth!)
asking/reaching out for help (which for me is so difficult to do)
Whether it’s a space to create and self-express or mental health support, know that you’re not alone in this. I’ve listed a few resources below if you or someone you love needs support, help, or unsure of where to begin.
*Please be advised that this is a starting point and not a comprehensive list of resources. Any and all mental health and holistic treatments should never be a substitute from seeking professional medical advisement. Aka I’m not a doc.
National Suicide Lifeline We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 1-800-273-8255
National Alliance on Mental Health Top 25 Helpline Resources ranging from locating treatment, suicide and crisis, financial assistance, metal health conditions and more.
Washington Square Institute “Washington Square Institute and Training Center are integrated under an absolute charter granted by the New York State Board of Regents. Our mission is to provide excellent psychoanalytic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy training and continuing education, sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA), to mental health practitioners. WSI is a non-profit Institute⁄Treatment Center committed to providing affordable personalized mental health services by highly skilled clinicians to a broad and diverse population.”
Ali Forney Center “Our mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.”
HealHause “At HealHaus, we’ve combined diverse healing modalities and practitioners under one roof to provide people with an inclusive space focused on holistic health and wellness. We are committed to building a community that is dedicated to changing the stigma attached to healing.”
New Women’s Space “NWS is a vibrant and affirming community-led event space centered on gender equity, creative expression and celebration of identity. Our mission is to build strong relationships, create economic opportunity and inspire possibility for women, femme, queer, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in an accessible, supportive, safer space.”
Eres. “intergenerational digital media platform | social collective | womxn, gnc & nb | empowering others | inspiring action”
What is your unapologetic truth?
P.S. You are worthy.
The unexpected challenges of the month for me has been dealing with someone with the inability to be flexible, careless with their words and reactions while being ordained with authority.
Lord have mercy...when that one person who will go out of their way to make your life hell and they have all the authority...it is one sticky situation.
I've been reflecting on my reactions toward the situation, and noticing how I allowed the negative energy and projection into my life. Not only allowing them in to chip away at my confidence, but internalizing statements that are clearly not a reflection of who I am as a person and professional. Lucky for me, I was able to reach out for support in different areas of my life and ask for help and mediation.
I briefly read up on Rudyard Kipling's life learning about some of his recorded tragedies and challenges in life. He found ways to hold on. Hard times befall every single one of us on this planet. Your story and experiences matter. So please hold on.
Kipling's poem If is dedicated to his son. In this poem he discusses the challenges that befall someone, rising above it to essentially have the key to success. I looked at this poem as a letter to the self, reminding me to maintain my authenticity and hold tight to my truth.
Kipling writes the simplest yet sweetest line, giving me the reminder I need, to make it through April: And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on"
Write about the resilient will within you that keeps you going on the days you feel like you can't go on.
P.S. You are not alone.
Writer Devi S. Laskar, author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues, reads aloud Lucille Clifton’s won’t you celebrate with me, prior to reading her own work. Laskar’s post about Clifton led me into a rabbit whole of reading. Leaving me with the feeling that Clifton speaks directly to the soul.
I was reflecting on my own experiences and how they have impacted my life, shaping me into the woman I am today, and still ever-changing. I think of the inability to control certain circumstances, but also having the control to release what/who does not bring purpose to my life. Awareness of the self is the first step to making the changes you want in your life.
What experiences in your life shaped you into who you are today? (Cultural, environmental, relational, etc.)
I’m currently in a place where I’m at a loss for words, so I allowed myself to intuitively reach for a poetry book that called to me in the moment. I grabbed Angelou’s book., and opened up to Still I Rise. Make sure to scroll to the end of this post to listen to her reciting it live! May we always rise from the challenges that are placed before us. Remembering our greatness already exists within.
Writing prompt #4
Write about your resurrection.