Hola 2017 : Sinverguenzura Will Get You Far

I meant to (re) start the blog yesterday, the first day of the new year. But it remained one of many “resolutions” that I never got to. I decided not to be so hard on myself about it though. In the grand scheme of things I started out 2017 pretty well. I slept in. I journaled. I read. I angrily tweeted about some bullshit I read. I spent time with my family. We hosted friends. I cooked. We watched bad movies.

 

I will be 40 this year. By most statistics this means I’m reaching the midpoint of my life. I have spent that last 20 years of my life in multiple digital spaces. I was one of the midwives to blogging, especially for women of color. I was one of the midwives to mami blogging. I was one of the midwives to the Latin@ blogosphere. Once upon a time I would have a hard time claiming these things, claiming my place in history. Pero it seems that now, as I approach what statiscally speaking is my midlife, instead of my hitting a crisis, I should be hitting some clear goals that thus far have eluded me.

 

I have been in other people’s articles and I have been blessed enough to write my own. I have been in other people’s books, but I have not written my own. This year I will attempt to fix that. Part of that means (re)counting histories of organizing and digital spaces (and their intersections) that seem to be getting lost/forgotten/coopted. As I have been saying/writing for 20 years, if we (I) don’t claim, own, and tell our own stories, other people will. I don’t buy that voiceless shit. What usually happens, especially for people of color, women of color, mamis of color – someone speaks about you, in your name (and probably makes money and a career off it).

 

I’ll repeat something else I’ve said/written many times over, this is not about career making/money making. I can look back over the last 20 years of my life and be proud that I have stayed true to that. I have, for the most part, said what I’ve meant and meant what I’ve said. This has meant being vulnerable and open to attacks. Some of those attacks, deserved (mostly regarding my less than best decisions about who to become emotionally/sexually entangled with). Some of those attacks not deserved (mostly around my critiques of immigrant nonprofit organizations). Because of my sinverguenzura, there have been doors that have never been opened for me (probably for the better) and then there have been spaces that really have had no choice but to let me in : journalism, academia, and the non-profit world. This means that there have been times where I have been able to make money needed to live through writing and organizing. This also means that I lived, writing and organizing, while paying my bills in other ways.

 

As I approach my 40th year of life, I am at my most stable in many ways. Life has taught me that being true to myself, even when that means making mistakes, even when that means making what looks like to others as mistakes, I end up where I need to be, doing what I need to do.

 

Welcome to 2017, my 40th year, my mistakes, my taking space, my where I need to be, doing what I need to do.

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