It’s International Womyn’s Day!
I hope you are all celebrating the amazing womyn in your life. As I said in my PSA yesterday, I hope with all of my heart that you are not one of those individuals that believes Mother’s Day is enough. Because I’m sorry to break it to you, it’s NOT.
Let me tell you why it isn’t. Not all womyn are Mother’s. If they are, you are only celebrating their motherhood. You are thanking them for being the best momma or Abuela in the world, to you, your kids, grandkids, etc. Motherhood is a part of her; however, it is not who she is.
This is what I’ve learned, motherhood is a beautiful thing. I wouldn’t change it, it’s a whole different ball game. It’s an entirely different life, you change, even the way you love changes, your fears, hopes, and dreams even change. But it is not what defines me.
I am, a womyn with my own hopes, dreams, and yes baby, aspirations for myself. Not all of them include my son, but I bet you top dollar that it will make me an even better momma to my nugget.
Oh, yea…there’s that other thing, not every womyn wants to be a mother. Dios Mio, you are gasping in Spanish aren’t you?
Times are changing, nope, scratch that. For as far back as you can go, not every single womyn in the world wanted children. We were just taught that that’s what we wanted, were good for, and needed.
Now, to the topic at hand!
Fabulous, beautiful, amazing, brillante, chingona YOU!
Today, all over the globe we get to celebrate the amazing womyn in our lives. Womyn that have touched our lives, that have taught us to live, learn, love, dream, cook, dance, laugh, and in some cases brush off the bullshit that sometimes comes with being a womyn.
Today, we get to honor these womyn and today we get to let those womyn that are close to us know how much they inspire us. How we appreciate them, their spirit, and their presence in our lives.
Today, you get to tell those amazing womyn in your life: I see you, I honor you, I celebrate you. All of you. Your essence, your spirit, your mind and body, ALL OF YOU!
On this day, I get to honor all of the womyn in my life. All of my friends, family, and sisters.
My girls, my comadres, mis hermanas, the womyn that have pushed me, challenged me, guided me. These womyn have allowed me to be vulnerable, angry (more than in one occasion), sad, excited, scared, and weird. I’m able to be passionate, nerdy, emotional, sensitive, hard, and inquisitive around them. These womyn have supported me throughout some of the most challenging times in my life. They just know when I need them, and when I need space. Some of these womyn have helped me through:
- The fear of trust
- The fear of going back to school at the ripe old age of 27
- The fear of moving and going to one of the baddest schools in the country, Go Bears!
- To believing I could take up a second major, at this bad ass school.
- To helping me out my last semester of undergrad when I almost became homeless. Some bought me groceries, other’s sent me money to help pay for groceries or rent.
- To wheeling me around the hospital in a wheelchair when I hurt my back.
- To wheeling me around Disneyland and California Adventure when I hurt my ankle (again).
- To attending every celebration, every kid’s birthday party, every family gathering
- To supporting me when I said “I’m choosing to do this alone” and signed up immediately to be in my son’s life.
- To being with me during 45 hours of labor.
- To booking a flight to be with me when I say “I’m not doing so great” or knowing by the sound of my voice when I need “cafecito time”
- To taking my kid potty so I can finish eating.
- To believing in me, today, as I start over.
You, ladies, are some of the baddest cabronas I know. You are also some of the craziest and weirdest womyn I know, which is why we work. To the women in my life, I love you, I honor you, and most importantly I appreciate you! All of you!
there’s a few more, but I didn’t have pictures immediately available.
Today, I would like to talk about the womyn that molded me and made me the chingona you all know and love. You know this badassery doesn’t just happen, right? I’m a mixture of God’s grace, stardust, sunshine, moonglow, mixed in with the essence of indigenous goddesses, mother nature’s spirit, and the combined DNA and fierceness of my Abuela and Madre.
These mujeres, take fierce to another level. They are, de armas tomar (loosely translates to bad ass womyn), and are willing to do the greatest of all sacrifices for their kids.
Let’s start with the matriarch of the family, my Abuela. This woman was seriously unconditional love in human form. She was all about her kids, then her grandchildren. Although, she had four children, due to a complication at childbirth and having to be rushed to the hospital for care after a homebirth, she only raised three. Her older sister, nursed him and eventually ended up raising him. I know, complicated but that’s how the story goes. Twenty years later, she had three more, which includes my mother Esperanza. Yup, ladies and gents this lady had her kids in her 40’s. The minute she gave birth to her children they were devoted and loved. My grandmother, raised her children alone and she decided to remain alone the rest of her lifetime. She didn’t want a stepfather for her children; although, she had many suitors, she was like “Na, I’m cool.”
She did what she had to do to raise her children, her love and devotion knew no bounds for her children. This does not mean that she let them get away with anything, because she was strict. Just like she was hardworking, she made sure her children were too.
Let me tell you why else, this womyn was amazing. Let’s go back to the early 1900’s. She was the youngest in her family, her mother died when she was little. Abuela was raised by her great-grandmother Mónica. Abuela’s childhood was rough, she had a brother who was extremely mean to her, so she decided at the age of 10 or 13 (I think it was 13, but my uncle says 10) to leave her home and try her faith in Honduras. Here she worked, taught herself to read and write, and met herself some amazing historical people.
She eventually moved back to El Salvador. Raised her children, helped her daughter who became a teen mother with her children. Later raised her three older grandchildren, while her daughter tried her faith in the US, and was as unconditional and devoted to them as she was to her own children.
Abuela was a tough chick, cancer not once but twice tried to take her out, and it lost. When I moved to El Salvador, everyone in the neighborhood knew not to mess with me because they knew who my grandmother was. They knew she was fearless and even in her 70’s would make them fear for their life.
My Abuela loved hard, laughed loud, and believed in her Corazon de Jesus with an ardor that was unbelievable. All of these traits, according to my mother, along with her name were passed down to me.
The new matriarch, my mother Esperanza is one badass womyn too! She became a mother at an extremely young age, survived an abusive relationship, and took care of her children all before she was 18!
She migrated to this country, looking for work opportunities. She hustled day and night, to take care of her family back home, then after I and my brother came along, she had two households to support.
My mother dealt with her own daemons, remnants of the abusive husband she had while still a child herself. Alcohol was her crutch, but luckily for all of us AA became her saving grace.
My mother only has a 6th grade education, but at a very young age instilled the love of reading in me. Supported my return to education, and luckily for me moved to help me raise my child so I could finish grad school.
After thirty something years of sobriety, Cancer tried to test her stability, luckily for us her sobriety and faith are unwavering.
My Madre has been through hell and back throughout her life, raising five children on her own. Her heart and mind divided amongst two households, in two different countries, surrounded by two different circumstances.
My mother worked hard her entire life, she instilled this in me. She also constantly reminds me, to remain true to the Womyn in me.
I think these two womyn are extraordinary, you might not agree with me, but I’m not here to convince you otherwise. However, I will tell you why I believe they are in fact, F’n extraordinary. It’s simple really. It’s also something that I have admired my entire life and continues to leave me dumbfounded. It’s simple really, in theory, not in action. These womyn have been through the ringer, life has tested them over and over again, they survived poverty with their hard work and quickness of thinking, they survived the harsh realities of the world towards womyn like them in an extremely patriarchal country. Not only did they survive it, they thrived in it. We don’t come from much, we didn’t build an empire (yet, I have some smart ass nieces and nephews who knows what they might do. My kid is pure curiosity and wit at three, so he’s headed for big stuff), but they build families with traditions. Families with love and strength as our backbone.
But you know what the best part is, they did all of this and never lost their joy. Life tested their strength and faith in several occasions, but that didn’t cause them to walk through life bitter, unhappy, angry or with an added layer of victimhood. They saw everything as something they simply had to handle, they didn’t let it defy them or rob them of their joy.
This is the biggest lesson next to loving hard that they have instilled in me. Which I hope to instill in my children. Never lose your magic, never lose your joy, and love so hard that those around you can’t help but share that love with those around them.
Although, I try to do it every day; just as I believe we all should, these are the womyn that I honor and celebrate today. Today’s just a specific day on your calendar, but just like you should not only celebrate your love on February 14. You should not only honor and celebrate the womyn in your life on March 8th.
But today, March 8th I will join the festivities and celebrate all of the amazing womyn in my life. So, to the amazing womyn reading this, you are fabulous, amazing, and perfect just as you are. Stand tall and be proud, you are a whole and divine being.
Simply put, you are PHENOMENAL!