Late night reflection

Today, I was overcome by emotion, those that know the real me understand I feel deeply but rarely show it. At times, I feel so deeply that it overcomes my thoughts and I’m unable to move forward until I let it out in writing.

Today, I chose to get out of my comfort zone, to try to find an answer to what has been plaguing me as of late. Today, I attended a seminar regarding Latino talent retention in the work place and then later in the evening an event for the Latina network. Both events left me with more questions within myself but also with a spark. I took an interest in both of these events because I have been going through my own personal identity crisis. I’m struggling to decide if I want to fight for a cause or throw in the towel. I’m struggling to decide where I stand amidst the chaos of the world.

With the political climate and the state of the world I have been feeling at a loss. I feel, in a sense, like I have lost a label. A label that I never truly viewed as such. I am Latina but I am also an American. I am also a daughter, a mother, sister, wife, cousin, aunt and a friend. I am many things, I am a nurse, a writer, a lover of music and more. Yet, each of those aspects of my life are labeled. Example, I am a Latina but look Caucasian so often I am labeled by my own culture as “gringa”. Is it wrong to be offended? Because in actually that is what I am. I was born and raised in a predominantly white community. I had privileges by simply going to the schools I attended. I was labeled one way by my culture and another by my surrounding community. It’s a miracle I made it this far without having an identity crisis!

I feel that I am in a minority of my own, in a sense privileged by the opportunities I had growing up and the choices I made for myself. Yes, I had choices, an abundance of them and among those choices, I chose to work serving the community as a nurse. I have a privilege or many privileges and I am unsure of what to do with that knowledge and that essence of power it represents.

I struggle. Some days more than others trying to choose the right path for me, for my family and for that sacred legacy we all wish to leave behind.

I am pulled in many directions, often to the point where I feel I lose control of who I am. And, who is Jenny? Technically I was labeled Jennifer at birth but I’ve always known within myself that I am a Jenny. I feel that name has a whimsical connotation and I feel it suits who I am. Yet, many who see me or greet me do not see “Jenny” they see what they want to see or maybe what I inadvertently portray.

I am a female struggling with the multitude of labels that have been placed upon me throughout the years. At times I struggle finding my place, I go about my day to day but in the back of my mind, I ask myself; who am I really?

The answer is actually very easy, I am all and none of the labels that have been placed upon me. I am everything and I am nothing. I have as much power as I chose to believe I have. I have as much a voice as I chose to have. I can be anything I want to be. I am Latina, I am Puerto Rican, I am American, I am a very proud mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a nurse, a writer, etc the list is quite long but most of all, I am human and I am me. There is a place for me in this world and though I stumble across it on a daily basis, I know I am a combination of all my labels all which make me uniquely me. I know what I want out of my life and what sort of legacy I want to leave behind.

Simply put, I am me. I will continue on my journey with an open mind and fight when I need to fight and know when it becomes too much for me to handle but standing strong within myself. Leaving behind that legacy for my child, that I know who I am and helping my daughter find who she is and help her to see that what she dreams, what she believes in is possible.

If I leave my daughter with something in this life I hope it’s with the certainty in her heart that she is loved and that she should always be who she is inside, never letting someone dim the light within, even when this chaotic world tries to confuse you.

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I should be all out of words…

I should be all out of words

by Jae Vel

I should be all out of words by now

I have exhausted so many on my journey

I used the words to cleanse, to heal

I thought the store would deplete

yet,  the words continue to sprint across my mind

some days my fingers can capture the racing words on time

grabbing on with clenched fists as some words fight to hide

while others beg to be set free

round and round from the light of day to the dark of night

I spent so many years of regurgitating the never ending refrain of words that revolve around you

At times losing the true story, the hidden messages to myself within each spilled line

Yes,

I should be all out of words by now…

Does our music choice reveal our true inner self? 

Do we live fully for the happy moments and die a little with each heartbreak? 

As individuals we walk this earth alone, we all see the world differently, even though your bestest of friends will understand your meaning 99.9% of the time.. there is a still a part that is alone, private just for you..In those quiet moments of solitude, well, if you are lucky these moments are quiet, giving  you the time to reflect. Reflecting on the good,the bad and the “the way it goes” events of our lives and the world around us..

 I was introduced to yet another side of music yesterday and I have immersed myself in this music for the past 24 hours to gain a better understanding of the artist Gillian Welch and if I’m honest with myself to better understand the person who led me on this path. All the songs I have heard have such a soulful sound, so much sorrow reflected in the strumming of the guitars and the hypnotic voice of Gillian Welch, a few times I found myself in a thoughtful trance. Even with the more upbeat songs I can hear an underlying sorrow,  making me reflect on the other side of the person who introduced me to this music.

I  feel that after so many years of talking to this person I never really knew them at all.  The inner self, as they said, if it is anything like the music   I have been drowning in these past 24 hours,  is that of a very deep soulful individual who I thought I knew but really only knew a minuscule part of. I have only known the piece  they would share or maybe the only part I would allow to be shared with me..But the side that was revealed yesterday has made me think; this is the closest I will probably come to seeing the inner workings of my friend..As a music lover myself I find I gravitate towards the music of individuals that I can relate to, mostly the lyrical story baring their heart open for the world to open their ears and truly hear the pain inside..some individuals listen to melodies and going by this musical choice both the melody and lyrics are full of pain.. is the person who shared this with me in pain or maybe once was in such pain that it has scarred a part of them? Maybe I think too much.. But I find myself wondering, do we die a little with the heartbreaks in life? 

We all have 2 sides, some many more, the one they share with the world and the other only shared in private moments or unintentionally…does our music choice reveal our true inner workings? Maybe to better understand others, we should Listen to their song choices, their musical interest and when someone speaks, listen fully, not superficially barely scratching the surface of what is being said, but find a way to dive deeper and maybe realize we all have a side we rarely share and that it may be one full of sorrow hidden behind the facade shown to the world… Maybe just maybe one can learn more from the music choices of an individual than by  the words they speak..