Current Mood: Se Preparó por Ozuna
I am writing
history herstory right now.
I write more to help consolidate memories than for the record.
Friday mornings in the Fall of 2017 it began. After my Chicanx Latinx Studies class, my weekends convinced me I am thriving. It’s the first time in my life where my life experiences are validated… where I’m surrounded by people who speak the same language standing by my side in judgement-free solidarity… It happens Thursdays this Spring 2018, when CLS class guides me into self-care to promote and encourage my thriving. We help each other thrive even when it means adapting (even sacrificing) time, space, money and institutional (or other haters) respect or support.
It is no coincidence that we are always feeding each other – it is our habit to be mindful of the physical needs of each other before the mental and spiritual (think Maslow’s Hierarchy) needs are engaged.
When I consider bearing children, I’m conflicted though. While I value choice, it is my goal to promote and encourage thriving of all living things so the choice is to care for all and not just my own. Madre tierra primero. ALL LIVING THINGS.
It’s nearly 1pm and as I sit here trying sun butter and almond butter along with mani con mi platano asado y cafecito. I’m watching Broad City between bites and texting, WhatsApping and Instagramming with friends and family about #blm, dating, love and tattoos. Also, I’m dressing for the gym.
“These are all our children. We will profit by, or pay for, whatever they become.” -J. Baldwin
For the first time in my life I have a physical and emotional space to be myself 100%. I need to nurture this new development. With my peers, I’m allowed to grow alongside them without being invalidated or reprimanded. I do not feel like an imposter around mi gente. I’m even allowed to admit that I am still battling my own internalized racial inferiority and when our conversations lead me there, they are gentle and affirming. Todavia esta jodiendo Max (sometimes I want to emphasize the Rest in power, hombre). Live. Love. I can’t believe you pushed me to this!! Chicanx Latinx work has to be done and 2 years ago I wasn’t convinced I cared enough or was capable. Max is still pushing me here. I’m drawn to autheoethnographic work (Ellis & Bochner, 2000) because my scholarship gives meaning to my existence. We are taught to forget the past. My work is unearthing forgotten pasts. It is natural that all shades of black connect and unite.
- How can we provide the right sustenance to promote your life?
- How can we support each other’s thriving?
- What can I do to contribute to your growth and successes?
I’m surrounded by people asking me this for the first time in my 33 years on this Earth!!
That’s what pro-life means to me ^
Not everyone gets a crew, though. I working on learning how to return the feeling and the real material support to my chosen family.
We must water the plants.
There are some rules I follow. Lately I’ve only been craving meat. I’m following the rules of my body. Breakfast, lunch and dinner all last week was almost exclusively all protein. Even now, I can’t get through half my platano…. I’m about to eat it with tuna…
I’ve always been cognizant of the arbitrary nature of rules. Take road rules, for example:
For me, that shit inspires cognitive dissonance. Isn’t it more dangerous to keep switching lanes (because we all know there are a lot of slow-ass drivers out there)? All the rule breakers in the house go “yee-aahh!!”
My nieces are cognizant of the power structures in their home and schools. “Curse word” for example. Like me at their ages, they know to listen and not repeat (as they’ve been taught by adults) “bad words” but they inquire with me about it – we chat about what and how words mean… I’d like to pretend it’s because I don’t inflict my power over them but maybe it’s because they see me as a kid also (based on how other adults engage with me).
Then there are rules like “Pay your bills if you want good credit.” Don’t attempt to argue with me. Call me ratchet, I pay my bills when and if I agree. For example, I went to an allergist a few months back for some physical symptoms I was having. When they told me the exams would cost more than $200 (anti-life) I thanked dude and left. I’ve gotten several “new patient” bills – ain’t nobody want your service! I intend to write them a ( intelligent) letter one day but, for now, they just keep pissing me off wasting paper. The anger lasts all of 10 seconds.
I don’t always do 3-second-stops at signs.
I don’t ask permission to go piss (the way we still require youth to do this blows my mind).
I dress however the fuck I want.
Then there are some weirdass rules people try to push on me. It keeps happening that people ask me – well, why a Ph.D. (or 2)? (because professor is not my goal). Well how I explain it is:
I just like learning stuff. Is that still legal?
My alarm is set to go off at 8:50am on Thursdays. Today, I boiled some eggs and bagged my previous-nights prep of guac/chips, popcorn and a smoothie while I dressed. My 9-12pm CLS896 course was fulfilling (as my other was last semester) – so much #BrownGenius in just one room. There are people 10+ years younger in my course that teach me more than a combination of generic professors of courses I’ve had in the past. I’m sad that I’ve taken 3 doctoral level courses that taught me little to nothing – damn shame. It’s frustrating to have had professors I didn’t respect because they seem so jaded and unconcerned with our learning – so disinterested in their subjects or just looking to promote their individual work with disregard to our – the students – learning goals.
I dropped off rent then lifted weights (4 variations for arms 20 x 3) than jogged with 5lbs weights for ~15mins. Back at home by 2pm, I had some of my home-made Panera-wannabe-broccoli&cheese soup after showering and getting ready for my 3pm massage. I was on the phone for about 30mins trying to delete a fraudulent charge (free trial to read a book, charged me subscription) – how is this bullshit still a thing?
Comfort is a mystery
Crawling out of my own skin
Just give me what I came for
I’m out the door again
My masseuse always explains various issues I have with my body – oh, I know how effed my back is!! Can’t afford elbow surgery now… she’s incredibly gifted, I’d say.
I don’t get why it’s during Black History Month, but the Latinx Film festival in EL is this weekend at MSU. Thoroughly enjoyed the Brazilian Que Horas Ela Volta? 3 light-skinned man panelists with one WoC. Guess who got challenged? Fuckin men! The film was absolutely making commentary about racialization and the intersections with gender, class, age. I cried at various parts! It was painful to hear “Val” say words I’ve often heard. It was beautiful to see mother “Val” and daughter “Jéssica” create a counternarrative for us Latinx. One audience member (white male) asked about the one instance of assault (which was not centered) in the film and I thought that was interesting due to the wide of array of themes, imagery etc that could have been discussed deeper.
The Bolivian, Carga Sellada, I did not enjoy one bit. It DOES NOT pass the Bechdel Test. It was boring. it was an over-simplified portrayal of indigenous struggles. The PoC and only 3 women in the film are stereotypical mistreated (one woman murdered, one sexually assaulted) – all objectified. The light-skinned, symmetrical blonde was the most coveted, of course.
Worst part was the seats at Wells Halls re-hurt my back – son wasted 40$ on a massage that was undone by shitty seating. Thanks white woman who ran a red light, wrecked my car and my back (weed found in the car by cops but they “knew it was not a factor”) summer 2016!!
Home near 11pm.
In the quest for social justice, I’d like to frame Latinx Studies as promoting life.
Papi is an economist and a mathematician. In childhood, we received lessons during meals about labor, finance, investment, opportunity costs, cost benefit analyses, inflation, law of demand, Game Theory, elasticity, consumerism, competition, communism, capitalism, fixed and variable costs, GDP, globalization, inflation, ap/depreciation, durable goods…. the words randomly pop into my head when I consider where to spend my money.
The first paper I wrote in this PhD process was on agribusiness and oligopoly (e.g. food as a classroom resource).
Since my time in NYC, I’ve been aiming to be purposeful with my spending. In terms of being mindful where my money goes. It’s become particularly important to me not only to avoid big corporations but purposefully seek PoC-owned businesses. In my academic trajectory it’s been challenging. For one, there is a white majority (so trying to get a PoC professor is also limited by my dept). Two, fuckin people don’t STFU about my spending habits – constantly offering their unwarranted advice. We are fighting back colonial narratives – YES, with our dress!! Yes, by reclaiming spaces. Sometime I love to blare Daddy Yankee on campus or NIN or RATM just to disrupt the silence. Abbot Rd is full of filth and noise from white fraternities/sororities (they even visibly and loudly honored the dead porn guy who died last year) and they’re never called ghetto.
Voy chillin’, tranquilo
Before he died, just as we were building our friendship Max told me I’d change my mind (or he hoped I would) about doing a dual PhD. My first impression of him was “trouble.” We were both “north” without hesitation – something about “North” people being ready for action and impulsive…. yadayada. Era muy jugetón!! Working with him was annoying – he had work hours that didn’t match mine and was even more disorganized than me. It was our Latinidad that bonded us. Now here I am. Almost 2 years after your death, you still pushing me to do what you think the world needs… Gracias amigo ❤
What’ll it take to get it through to you, precious? I’m over this, why do you wanna throw it away like this? Such a mess, why would I wanna watch you?