Friday, March 8, 2013

A Reflection on International Women's Day...

Today is International Women's Day and a day of reflection for many, if not all of us. I will not rant on how we are Divas and Goddesses of the world. Instead I will rant upon my reflections as a woman and the legacy I have followed and hope to pass onto my daughter.

Today I reflect on the women in my family and some of the women I've met throughout my life. Today I reflect on what I hope to pass onto my daughter. How I hope to empower her. How I hope she can empower herself in a world full of gray complexities. A world in which empowered and enriched my identity.

While I think of all these women everyday through my decisions, my writing and thoughts....I'd like to point them out today.

A mothers love and care for her family is impacting and never leaves a daughter's thoughts no matter how old she is. As the oldest in my family I remember my mother's sacrifices. Her three hours of sleep were enough for her every day, working over eight hours and still having the energy caring for us. Sacrificing her desire to be with my brother and I at all time in order to provide for us alongside  my father. Yet still making time to be with us even for a few hours. Today she is a doting and wise grandmother who passes down her wisdom and surprises me everyday on all things she knows.

I never met my grandmother. But it really doesn't matter due to the legacy she left behind. I saw it everyday growing up as my father would tell us stories of my grandmothers strength. Stories my aunts and uncles would tell would simply reaffirm that she was my version of Wonder Woman. I was named after her and till this day I feel it's a name I hold dear and heavily. She became a mother at thirteen and mothered eight children. With the help of my great great grandmother she became a strong business woman and sole provider of her family. She died young but her name lives on through stories of fairness, devotion and love not only with her family but with people she helped through her good fortune.

College was a transforming experience for me. After high school I thought I knew it all, I thought I knew myself...but I was wrong. Who knew taking a Latina Women course would change my life forever.  As an elective I thought it would be a breeze to take yet it proved to be one of the most difficult it was a course which wasn't based on what I would learn from a textbook. Instead it was a course which I was forced to learn about mysel and who I really was. Through Professor Elizabeth Garcia's course I faced the complexities I was exposed to and was taught I actually had choices within them. Following her two additional courses in college I grew to learn about myself and understand in depth where I came from and how it formed me to be the person I was. I felt liberated, accepting of myself for all the gray areas I had. I embraced my identity as a woman, as a Latina, as a human being. I met other young Latinas such as myself and realized we all navigated through a gray area in which only we would understand. And while it was hard it empowered us for hit ever lied ahead.

As a new mom, I'm scared. Scared to fuck up. Yeah I know all parents say or think the same. But I am scared to not continue passing down this sense of empowerment to my daughter. I don't want to teach my daughter on how to be a little diva. I don't think of manis and pedis or dress up--- who knows if she'll even like that!! Instead  I want to pass down love and humanism. I hope to pass down a sense of activism and pride for who she is. And not for what this society expects her to be. I want to pass down strength and love for education and the wisdom her ancestors have passed down. I hope to teach her tolerance of diversity in the world.

Being from the city, living and now raising a child in suburbia, an unkown culture, I know all of this might be hard. Briefly being exposed to a culture obsessed with image and status I have come to realize I will be working overtime exposing her to a world beyond one single environment. A world that while it might be complex to navigate through, its worth doing so.

I hope to teach my daughter everything these women in my life have taught me. I hope to teach her what I learned and continue learning  on my own. I hope I will never teach her hypocrisy. I hope she has the opportunity to meet amazing human beings as I have had the privilege to.

I hope many things for her...the list could go on. But to sum it up I hope she will always find fulfillment on the three pillars....spiritual, physical and mental.

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