If not me, who? if not now, when?

So I watched Emma Watson’s UN speech and like everyone else I thought it was phenomenal. Just the mere fact that she gave that speech with such strength and poise when she was clearly nervous makes me want to applaud her.

And while I don’t really get what this campaign will actually do,

It was great.

What really stuck with me though was her last thoughts, why she had to speak for this campaign HeforShe.

If not me, who? If not now, when?

It is a thought that is constantly on my mind. I firmly believe I was created for a unique purpose. Unique being a relative term.

I am the only one who can live my life.

I aspire to do what I was uniquely created for. The things I need to write, the words I need to speak, the people I need to love, etc.

She spoke about gender equality and it just made me think. What is the thing that gets my heart soaring? What would I speak passionately on if I only had 10 minutes of time? I’m not sure.

Being a Christian is who I am. I can’t really separate myself from my faith. I wouldn’t be me without it. Perhaps I would passionately speak of God and his/her vibrant constant love for us.

Yet, if I had to choose a “thing” to talk about: racism, gender equality, education, gratitude, growing up, love, adoption, sponsoring children, homelessness, literacy, the list goes on and on I’m not sure I could do it. Beyond reading, writing, and loving each and every day to my fullest capability I haven’t found a hearts passion. I haven’t found my cause that I must pursue now. Because sometimes I see all the things to be an advocate for and I give a little money and then I get overwhelmed. Yet I am starting to see themes. Starting to see the things I read or hear about that get my blood flowing, starting to think maybe this thing comes up in my life because I need to pursue it passionately. This is one of those things I was uniquely created for.

So what are the things in your life. The passions you pursue because when you hear this question:

If not me, who? If not now, when?

You know the answer is me, now.

Glitter on,

Juanita

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Tourist?

Today I was asked if I was a tourist, and I took it as a compliment.

Though I suppose it should be somewhat suspect, after John asked me this he told me that all the most beautiful woman are Spanish and than asked if he could walk with me, I said I’d rather not. Still the point is he thought I was a tourist because I was looking around.

I was taking in this gorgeous place:

Instead of being absorbed in my phone, or hurrying from one place to the next I was delighting in my city. I love Boston and all that encompasses Greater Boston (including my little neck of home).

I was in Boston for an interview and was excited at the prospect that I might finally get a chance to work in the midst of the city I love.

And it was just a nice reminder that that is how I want to live my life. Because tourists look, they absorb, heck they stare. They take it all in because they are fascinated because everything is new and interesting.

Life only becomes routine when we make it routine. In the city I love and adore I was asked if I was a tourist, and it made my day. The post graduate glitter is settling life is getting a bit more settled every day, I have my routines. That doesn’t mean life is going stale.

I can still be a tourist. I can still explore and be fascinated. I can still open myself up to new explorations and new possibilities. Even in the city I’ve been living near since I was born. Even with the relationships, titles, and communities that I’ve grown comfortable in. They can still glitter and I can still be mesmerized by the shine.

Glitter on,

Juanita

Let’s Talk About Race, Baby

My blog is essentially about growing up. Part of growing up is knowing what you believe and forming your identity.

I am a lot of things.

I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a writer.

I know that who God says I am, is most important of all.

I’m also Black. And Hispanic. And White. Sometimes I simply say I’m mixed.

I’ve been wanting to talk about race on this blog for a while and after watching this video I think I’m ready. While these kids are a lot sassier than I would be they speak truth.

Being mixed or Black is something you wear. Literally. Through out my life I have been asked the uncomfortable question: what are you? All my life I have noticed, I’m not as “white” as my siblings, but neither am I “black” like my dad and grandmother.

I don’t like to dwell on it, but I’ve known from a young age that I would have disadvantages because I was Hispanic/Black and female that I would always be perceived as “other”. That my race and my gender would always be something worth mentioning.

To always have that niggling feeling that maybe my failures and accomplishments had something to do with the skin I was born in. To have others at my predominately white school suggest that it was due to my heritage I was able to secure a scholarship to live on campus that one year (never mind that I still took out an extra loan or that the vast majority of students like me who commuted were also people of color).

I have never been in a situation like Ferguson. I have never been pulled over by the police. Still there are people who look like me, who look more Black, who weren’t blessed with the same privilege as me who are daily being pushed down by racism. Because racism is way bigger than this person hates this person because of who they are.

They go out the door and are told to keep to themselves, keep their hands out of their pockets, to be super kind to authority, to be careful with how they look at and talk to white people, because anything could happen. And in smaller ways there are stereotypes they can never get away from, jobs they will never have access to, and all these “little” things that racism pushes everyday to marginalize people.

This post isn’t for pity. This post is just a reminder that racism is still here in America. Racism affects people of color especially Black and Hispanic people in little and huge ways every day and we have to talk about it.

But there is hope. I know it with all my heart, God has always created a path that leads into righteousness. In history we see how God has moved and continues to move to defeat slavery (both of long ago and modern day), patriarchy, dictatorships, classism, and other evils in society. He is moving to create a world of love and equality and wholeness and if we’re willing we can all take a part of it. But first we have to see the world for what it is.

“ADULT”

It’s really weird being on my former campus just a semester after graduating. It’s weird being considered an alum. It’s weird that most of the students will relate to me as staff now. Most of all it’s weird that I’m not a student anymore.

Instead of classes, clubs, chapels, and choir, my time is filled with long walks, prayers, grading, and job searching. In both lives, thankfully, my life is rich with friends and family.

So many around me right now are encouraging me, praying for me, as I continue this journey of adulthood.

I don’t think I’m ever going to get there. I’m going to get a job that can support me, I’m going to move out, I’m going to continue to pay my bills and my debts. Hell, I’m going to get married, and progress physically, mentally, and emotionally. Crossing the threshold and becoming an “ADULT” well, that’s going to take some time.

Everyday I am thankful that I have God and that I have S, I’m not sure what I would do without either of them, and I know God know’s that. I have never before expressed so much of my vulnerability to one person and at times it is so freeing and I think, “this is what it means to have an adult relationship”. This is what it means to be supported by another person. And I am grateful. I have so many people who have helped me in many ways, suggesting jobs, praying, talking with me, giving me feedback, checking my resume, but at the end of the day it’s S who pushes me to apply again, to make that phone call, to pray, to not lose faith, who looks at loans, resumes, and savings accounts with me. Who reminds me of what we’re working towards and I am thankful, and in a weird way it deepens my love and faith in God.

Not sure if I’m ever going to reach “ADULT”, but I’m glad I was blessed with a God and partner who always make being an adult easily within my reach.

My glitter can touch adult with a little a, one day, one step, one sparkle at a time.

Passion

I am in that weird and wonderful place where I have a lot of free time on my hands. I want to be doing more (how much I would love to have a full time job), but for now I have a tiny job (it’s barely part time) and a lot of spare time.

I’m going to do the practical things I should do with that time: apply to jobs, get my drivers permit, go to the doctors (regular check up), spend time with friends and family, and work on my writing. Still there’s lots of time.

So I’m looking for something to fill me with passion. I’m going to get more involved helping out my church. I want to find a way to volunteer my time perhaps helping others with writing, reading, or just giving of my time and labor. 

Until I have a full time job my time is open, I have lots of energy (which means I walk a lot and am frequently restless), and I feel that God really wants me to use this time wisely. Which is better than what I tend to want to do with my free time: worry, watch Netflix, and sleep. 

So less time on facebook (because I am way too jealous and confused to look at other’s lives rationally), more time doing, and finding something I can do for a couple hours a week that is completely giving to someone/something else. I’m sure someone could use a college graduate with spare time on her hands. Now I just have to find it. 

What are you doing? Either those who have recently graduated or those who find time to give to others in the midst of life’s busyness, how are you giving back? What gives your life richness? How do you get outside of yourself? 

There is so much richness in all of life as Christians, even just having breakfast with family somehow comes holy, but I want to do something a little more. I’m ready for the next adventure.

Let’s all find our unique way to glitter.

Juanita