As MLK day is meant to be observed as a day of service, I woke up this morning thinking about what that means to me now and what it has meant for me in the past. It’s a special MLK day for me this year given it’s also the year that I launched this blog. Though it’s a blog about my personal life experiences and journey, my intention is to inspire and connect with others. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for many years now. So today I asked myself the question, why now?
First, let me start by telling you why not then. Well there was the obvious thing, fear. I was afraid what I wrote about wouldn’t be interesting let alone inspiring. I was afraid that I would be judged by others given some of the things I had to share. I didn’t believe my writing was good enough, I mean it’s not like I majored in English for starters. The list goes on… The biggest reason though for my fear, was because I didn’t think anyone would really care. I never backed the belief, that I could make a difference or that I could inspire someone. I saw myself through the multiple identity’s society has placed on me and women like me for centuries. I was a statistic, your typical Latina, I wasn’t the kind of woman people listened to. I was just another brown girl. I mean let’s face it, the number of women of color who open their mouths and people actually listen, are few and far between. Of course, this is now shifting some thankfully. However, I have to say, for a very long time, I believed you had to look a certain way, talk a certain way and have a certain background, before anyone would give you the time of day. And I know I was not alone.
Though our current political and social climate may suggest otherwise, I feel we have a slight opening. There has been enough movement for women, especially women of color, to speak up, share their voices and more importantly, to lead. I realized late in my life that my experiences as a child and in my early years all happened for a purpose. It was, it is, a part of my journey and my purpose. A very important part. There is something that happens to a human being who has experienced trauma, abuse, neglect or abandonment. It changes you, it alters you. I know this to be true from personal experience and from people I know and admire greatly. Some of the best people I’ve met in my life have suffered greatly and it’s something I feel personally called to study. Of course, when one undergoes those experiences there is for the most part, an increase in compassion that occurs naturally, but I believe there is more to it than that. It senses almost like a soul’s calling to something bigger.
I’m just a normal simple woman, so I’m not saying that my starting to write this blog means the world is going to shift, or maybe it is, who knows. I just know I can personally state that something huge shifted in here for me to finally take this step. Is it the force of women rising everywhere? Is it the threat to the patriarchy? I have no fucking clue yet, but rest assured, from now on, I will keep you posted.
And on this day and every day, thank you Dr. King. We stand on the shoulders of those before us.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others? – Martin Luther King Jr